A reliable and thorough tenant screening process can protect you from a bad tenant. When youíre processing applications and thinking about the tenant you want to place in your Barrie rental property, make sure youíre seeking a reliable and responsible renter who has a history of paying on time and taking care of homes. You want someone who will respect your lease terms and be a good neighbor.

We have a few important things that you should always include in your tenant screening process.

Credit Checks Paint a Financial Picture

We recommend that you start with a credit check. Looking at an applicantís credit history can disqualify someone right away, especially if there are bankruptcies or a history of unpaid housing bills. Perfect credit would be nice, but it is not necessary. Just make sure itís a manageable amount of debt that your prospective tenant has, and that there arenít any overdue or unpaid utility or landlord bills. You donít want to see prior evictions or court judgments for unpaid rents.

Ask for Personal and Landlord References

Collecting reference information is always a good idea. Itís unlikely that youíll have someone provide a reference that isnít going to say positive things, but you want to get an idea of why your applicant would make a good tenant. If you talk to a reference and you find out the tenant volunteers for social organizations or has a leadership role in a community program, youíll feel better about having that individual in your rental home.

Landlord references are crucial. Always talk to current and former landlords. Make sure you have the correct contact information and make a point of asking these questions:

  • Did the tenant pay rent on time?
  • Did the tenant leave behind any property damage?
  • Were there any complaints about the tenant from neighbors or law enforcement?
  • Would you rent to this person again?

Verify Income and Employment

We always require a documented form of income verification. We want to make sure that the tenants earn enough to pay rent on time. If your prospective tenant cannot provide any proof of income, ask for bank statements or tax records that indicate how much he or she earns.

You want to verify employment as well. Talk to the applicantís supervisor or get a letter of employment in writing.

Conduct Personal Showings

These days, itís popular to allow tenants to use a lockbox and visit properties on their own. But, we like to be there for showings. Not only does it give us the opportunity to answer any questions and provide additional information, we also get to do a little pre-screening. We can get a better feel for people when we meet with them in person. Find out why they are moving and when they want to move in. This helps you to establish a good relationship with your future tenants.

These are just a few of the tenant screening tips we have. If youíd like to hear more about how we screen our prospective tenants, please contact us at Bayshore Property Management.