4 Tips for Prescreening Your Rental Tenants

Contributing Writer, B2R Finance | Landlords,Renters

3The prescreening process for your rental property tenants is a critical first step in ensuring a long-term professional relationship. These 4 tips will be useful as you review potential tenants and determine who will be signing your lease:

The Phone Interview. It’s important for you to get a general feel for your rental tenant prospect so ask open-ended questions and let them talk. People tend to provide more information when they are given a chance to just speak freely. Avoid simple “yes” and “no” questions.

Always Check References. You should call, at a minimum, the past two landlords. When you talk to the landlords, ask some questions that will help verify you are talking to the right person. It’s not uncommon for people to ask their friends to pretend to be a reference so that the report comes back favorable. Questions you might ask include:

  • What day was the rent due, and was there ever an issue?
  • Does the property have an HOA (Homeowners Association)?
  • How long have you known the renter?
  • What process did you go through when evaluating the renter?

You should also contact the potential tenant’s employer. Ask how long the prospect has worked at the company, what they do, and the supervisor’s general impression of their character.

Review Social Media Accounts. Yes, this is totally acceptable in today’s society. You should be able to find most of these accounts via name or email address. Pay especially close attention to Facebook pictures and posts. Are they always at a party? Is the prospect in a messy house? These could be red flags.

Follow-Up Questions During Your Face-To-Face Meeting. As a final step in the prescreening process, meet face to face at your rental property to get a feel for your potential tenant’s first impressions. Are they excited at the size of the rooms, kitchen or backyard? Are they  talking about how they will make it their home? Are they looking for issues or complaining about the color of the walls? These hints will give you a sense of a good or bad fit.

Prescreening is an important part of the tenant selection process. It should lead to your piece of mind as you move forward with your choice of who will be living in your rental property. Visit us at www.b2rfinance.com and follow us on Twitter @B2RFinance.

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