by Rajiv Singh, 24-05-2024

Best Practices for Tenant Screening

Imagine you are a landlord eagerly looking for a tenant. Now, after going through several applications, you finally come across someone with a good credit history and a steady source of income. Excitedly, you think your search is over, but after handing over the keys, you discover his darker side. Now what can you do? You can only make efforts to make them comply with your rules, but if this proves futile, you will be left with the only option of a costly eviction process as such a tenant might not leave voluntarily even after getting a notice. To avoid such unpleasant situations, tenant screening is important. Without a comprehensive tenant screening process, chances are high that you will get deceived each time. Find a reliable tenant for your rental property so that you can remain stress-free. Safeguard your rental property by adopting the best tenant screening practices.

Use a reliable screening platform

When everything is going digital, there is no reason to not embrace technology for screening your potential tenants. Several cloud-based tenant screening platforms now perform instant background checks to empower you with vital information to choose the best tenant for your rental property. Most of these tenant screening platforms are designed to ensure compliance with legal regulations and fair housing laws, which further reduces the risk of any discrimination claims and helps in making a decision. Moreover, by leveraging technology for your tenant screening process, you can save valuable time.

Review all applications

A quick glance through the tenant applications is not going to help you. Instead, carefully review each of the applications while keeping a look for any inconsistencies or red flags. These can be gaps in employment, previous history of evictions or frequent change of address. One of the best things to ensure consistency and transparency in reviewing all the applications is to use a point system, where you can assign points to each criterion based on their importance and relevance to your rental decision. For example, assign more points to criteria like stable income and good credit score and fewer points to criteria like pet ownership, personal preferences, etc. The use of a point system will help you to easily compare all applications and prioritise only those who meet all the qualifying criteria that you can set yourself.

Evaluate the credit history

You already know that choosing a tenant with financial stability means you will not have to bear a tenant who consistently delays your monthly rent payments. So, do not hesitate to request credit reports from all of them and evaluate their credit history by carefully reviewing their credit scores, examining their payment history, and so on. Yes, this is a daunting task, but you need to do this to avoid any potential payment issues. Look at their credit score, debt repayment history and defaults (if any).

Verify employment

Employment verification ensures that a tenant will make timely rent payments without any excuses. So, verify employment either by requesting an employment verification letter or using third-party employment verification services. The second option is a bit costly for many landlords. So you can stick to the first one but can also search the contact address of their current employer over the web. Nowadays, most companies have a website or social media accounts where you can easily find their address and contact numbers.

Check rental history

Usually, past behaviour is an indicator of future actions. So, checking the rental history of your potential tenants is vital. Contact their previous landlords and gather valuable insights into their rental history. You can ask about their habits related to property upkeeping or late payments or whether they left behind any damage to their property. Also, enquire about any past incidents where the tenant has exhibited any violent behaviour. Remember, such behaviour can pose a risk to the safety of your other tenants sharing the same rental property. Make sure you are talking to their actual landlords and not their friends or relatives posing as landlords. Sometimes, this happens as tenants evicted by landlords often resort to such tactics to fool their potential landlord.

Also, never discriminate against applicants because of their race, gender or ethnic identity during the screening process. Make it a habit of treating them fairly to foster a positive rental experience and a transparent screening process.

Lastly, if following these screening practices seems time-consuming, don’t worry. Register at an online tenant screening platform that you can access anytime from anywhere and remain stress-free as a landlord. Our RentonCloud is a cloud-based tenant screening platform that flawlessly conducts a thorough tenant screening driven by artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. With its integrated database of credit rating agencies and third-party partners specialized in identity, KYC & AML checks, you will find a trustworthy tenant in minimal time.

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About Rajiv Singh

A Chartered Accountant in UK with 15+ years of experience in FinTech Consulting, Accounting & International Taxation. I enjoy being a Social, Foodie and Father of two young children, reachable at

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