Tenant screening services are an integral part of the rental process. Before allowing strangers to live on your property, you need to check how responsible they are. Rental screening can help you gather sufficient information to decide the potential tenant’s reliability level.
Before signing a rental agreement, checking the tenant’s financial situation, criminal records, and eviction history isn’t just an option; it’s common sense. Landlords usually have two key goals: keeping the property in top shape and getting timely payments. Achieving both of them depends on the reliability of the tenant. Here are the five main reasons why tenant screening services are essential for any landlord.
5 Reasons Why Tenant Screening is Important
Besides figuring out how trustworthy a potential tenant is, you need to be sure that they can make timely payments. Payment issues are among the most common problems landlords face with their tenants.
1.) Get Paid on Time
In the middle of a housing crisis, it became imperative to find a reliable tenant. The lack of affordable housing and COVID-related employment issues forced many tenants to delay payments or stop paying altogether. Some tenants bank on the eviction moratorium to keep a roof over their heads.
While it’s impossible to get a guarantee that the tenant will pay on time, you can at least check their financial situation.
A landlord can figure out how likely the tenant is to pay on time by acquiring a full credit report. The report can also show you if the collection agency has ever tried to collect unpaid rent from the tenant.
Meanwhile, a background check can uncover the existence of civil litigations or bankruptcy proceedings that may affect the tenant’s ability to make payments.
2.) Avoid Evictions
With the eviction moratorium currently in place, it’s easy to be stuck with non-paying tenants without the right to kick them out. Even if the suspension doesn’t get extended, a tenant eviction is a costly and painful process for both parties. The actual cost of removal can be between $4,000 and $7,000.
By running a proper background check on your potential tenant, you can learn their eviction history. Even one past eviction is a huge red flag.
3.) Learn About Legal Issues
If a tenant has a criminal record, you may want to think twice about signing a rental agreement. Are you ready to trust your property to someone who has been convicted of a crime? While some crimes are more severe than others, any conviction is a cause for concern.
For many landlords, a criminal record check is more important than a credit check because it’s a safety measure.
4.) Prevent Dangerous Incidents
A screening can help you understand if a person is dangerous. A tenant with a violent criminal history or a registered sex offender may be a risk not worth taking. Besides endangering your property, you could be putting your neighbors in danger as well.
Even if you decide to give such a tenant a chance, you need to be aware of their issues to protect yourself.
5.) Peace of Mind
When you let a stranger live on your property, you take a risk. Worrying about tenants every day can be stressful. While a tenant screening service doesn’t guarantee the renter’s reliability, it can give you some peace of mind about the safety of your property.
Professional Tenant Screening Services vs. DIY Rental Screening
There is only so much a landlord can do to perform a DIY tenant screening. Besides asking questions and checking referrals, you can order a credit report and find a company to perform a background check. If you don’t have experience with extensive screening, the process may take a lot of time without providing sufficient data.
Rental screening professionals perform a variety of checks, collecting all the relevant information about your future tenant. They present a comprehensive report to help you make the final decision about signing a rental agreement.
Should Landlords Use Tenant Screening Services?
Professional tenant screening services can save you time and money while providing extensive information about the tenant. While professional tenant screening is optional, many property owners choose to take advantage of it. If you’d like to learn more about professional tenant screening services, please contact us Beau Dietl & Associates at any convenient time.