Taking the first person showing up with a check is one of the worst mistakes you can make when considering a rental applicant. Many times this is the last money the landlord will see. And that is only part of the problem. Problem tenants can result in much more than just lost rents.
There is also –
- The time and money expended to collect on back rent.
- The time consuming eviction process and the associated legal fees
- Many cities are now levying fines and penalties to the landlord for nuisance tenants, including charging for police time when answering a problem tenant call.
- The repair costs for property damage as problem tenants typically don’t leave the property in good shape.
It is not difficult to avoid problem tenants before the lease is signed and still be fully compliant with Fair Housing and Fair Credit regulations.
The 4 critical steps you need to take to reduce problem tenants and the headaches they bring –
- Pre-screen tenants by clearly communicating residency standards
- Require complete applications and require each co-applicant to complete their own individual application and collect an application fee.
- Conduct a comprehensive background screening for every applicant and co-applicant 18 years or older that includes credit, criminal and eviction results
- Pay attention to the results
Next – Fair Housing and Fair Credit compliant tenant screening