Tenant Screening Tips
5 minute read
May 10, 2021


Finding the right tenant makes all the difference as a landlord. There are several warning signals of problematic tenants, some of which may not be obvious and clear initially. Repetitive offenders get past landlords, and one can’t trust the instincts or first experience when dealing with a new potential tenant. You can take specific precautions to avoid bad tenants. In this article, I have mentioned a few tenant screening tips that have proved to be really helpful for property owners. A landlord uses these tips efficiently to identify bad tenants before they become a problem.

Tenant screening tips

A few of the most common tenant screening tips for the rental property are as follows:

Rental Application

One of the most effective methods for tenant screening is a rental application. One can find the future renter’s credit, income, profit, revenues, and leasing background by looking at a rental or lease agreement. Standard aspects of the rental application include demanding the individual’s credit score, evidence of income, landlord testimonials, and personal details. Pet charges and rules, smoking laws, roommate policies, and whether or not the tenant can lease or sublease the house must be included in the document. One can also use the online platform to simplify the application process for landlords and tenants.

Credit Score

One of the best indicators of a desirable tenant is good credit. A decent credit score is between 670 and 799, with 800 and above is outstanding. Several online portals allow landlords to run the search and allows finding the renter’s credit score. The credit check can be paid for through either landlord or the prospective tenant’s primary percentage figure, or the landlord searching for is the person’s payment history, which is shown on credit reports as percentages. If a prospective tenant has a history of late credit card payments or he or she may also have a history of late rental payments. When the payment percentage is high, it’s a positive sign that the tenant will pay on time.

A credit score will be allotted to any potential tenant. If the person’s credit score is between 580 and 670 and all background checks are clear. A Landlord always wants to consider that the person gets a co-signer to partially finance the rent if the tenant cannot pay on time.

Rental History

When a landlord screens tenants,  they’ll inquire about their rental background. The rental history contains the addresses of the premises, the amount of time they use, and the contact details. The landlord also uses the history to figure out whether the individual remains in one place for a long time or goes around a lot.

Fair Housing Act (FHA)

Following the FHA ( Fair Housing Act)  is the safest way to ensure that landlords don’t discriminate against potential tenants. This law ensures that landlords do not refuse to rent to anyone because of their race, sexuality, or any related factors. Follow the FHA’s code of conduct for tenants to stop discrimination claims.

Written code of conduct

For the rental application or paper contract, get a written code of conduct. It indicates what the landlord and the tenant are supposed to do, and it will enable the landlord and tenant to ensure that all is clear and well explained. Have the prospective tenant sign this document stating that they have read and understood the code of conduct.

One can probably ensure that the landlord has the potential tenants for the rental house and that the interests and rights of any potential tenants are secured by covering all of the landlord bases.

Personal References

Contact the personal references provided by the potential tenant to complete the screening process. Employers, coworkers, sponsors, or team members with an institution of renter volunteers are ideal candidates. When dealing with references, one wants to get feedback on the person’s personality. The landlord wants to hear comments that affirm the individual, for example, turns up to work on time and is reliable. Be sure don’t ask any questions that violate the state’s Landlord and Tenant Act’s privacy laws.

Income proof

Another way to test potential tenants is to demand proof of income. The tenant must be able to afford the rent and utilities and have money left over for living expenses. The income to pay is three times the normal ratio for determining if a potential tenant can afford a property. If the apartment costs $1,000 a month, the tenant has to earn about $3,000 a month. Demand pay stubs over the previous 2 to 3 months, whether online or in hard copy, are necessary to see if the income is accurate and falls under the correct income-to-rent ratio. When checking them, be cautious because it’s becoming easier to fabricate fake pay stubs.

Background Check

A complete background check is the safest way to screen tenants. Although the landlord can run a credit report and speak with previous employers and tenants without doing a background search, the background check dives further into the person’s overall history. The background check confirms the potential tenant’s identity, reveals job history, discloses the evictions, details any criminal records, and determines if the person is on a government watch list.

The landlord will need the authorization to conduct the background check and use an accredited customer reporting service that adheres to the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s guidelines. In certain states, the renter, not the landlord, is entitled to submit a background check. Check the local laws and ensure that the proper process for obtaining a background check is followed. Within 24 hours, you can find the survey.


So If one wants to screen tenants for their property, they can benefit from the tenant mentioned above screening tips. Using these tips can easily find the root of the problem before a tenant gives you a tough time. The process of screening tenants has to be straightforward and aid in finding a responsible renter. If you are looking to put your property up for mortgage, contact Aceland Mortgage for expert opinion and guidance.

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