Finding the right Tenant applicant in Coeur d’Alene is quite possibly the important step in renting out your home. Many landlords are lured by someone who presents themselves was the best candidate with cash in hand, ready to move in with promises and intentional care for your beautiful rental. They may many times boasting over what great rental history, creditable references, and stable jobs they have. You may think in these situations what is wrong with taking their cash and letting them move right in. There after you can reap the benefits of your hard work making the house “rent-ready” for the right tenant. Well there are multiple considerations that you have not taken into account Plenty. In the steps below we will outline a few reasons why going through a tried and true procedure for selecting a tenant is necessary in your investment property ownership.
The risks of renting a home without having a prospective tenant applicant go through this basic steps can costs you long term and are foreseeable and avoidable. How do you determine if this person is who they say they are? Do they have the means and responsibility to pay the rent timely? Are they not a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood? These credit and background checks are a good first step in selecting the right tenant for your rental.
Before accepting applications, it is advise you research credit and background check companies to best serve your needs. Credit and background checks often cost around $25 per tenant applicant. Once you have a company in place to run credit and criminal background checks, see whether the company has an application you can utilize; or source an application by searching for landlord forms online or through a company. As you show the property and see the great amount of interest in your property, make sure you have a rental application on hand, or a link you can send to have them fill out electronically. The tenant applicant should be asked to:
Verify their identity by referencing their state ID with the information on the application
Verify their income with recent paycheck stubs or bank statements, etc.
Identify all residents who will be living in the home
Identify any pets (if applicable) with height, color and breed
Once you have the application filled out and signed, you can send to the credit and criminal reporting agency, do just that. This process takes anywhere from 24-72 hours. While the tenant applicant is being processed, follow up on the employment (if applicable) reference. Contact the tenant applicant’s employer and to ensure their inflow of income. One note to keep in mind when calling is to ensure the validity of the business when calling, and not just a tenant’s friend. For example, most businesses do not answer with a simple “Hello?”
Next in processing the tenant applicant is contacting past landlord and personal references. Keep in mind if a prospective renter is being evict ed, the current landlord most likely cannot or will not give negative information. That is why it is important to request 2-3 past landlord references. Ask each landlord reference the following:
Did the tenant applicant rent the entire terms of the lease?
How many times was the tenant applicant late on the rent?
Were they evicted or asked to leave?
Would the landlord rent to them again?
It is a rule of thumb that family members or friends should not be considered rental references for tenant applicants. Checking references should take about 30 minutes per applicant. After looking at the credit and criminal background and finding the tenant applicant to be a good risk, you must also take the rest of your findings to build a picture of the people who wish to move into your rental. If all things come together and the tenant applicant looks like someone you desire to take care of your property for the next extended period of time, let them know they are approved and decide on a move in date.
However, if the fit is not right and for whatever reason you decide not to have the tenant applicant rent your home, then you must let the resident know you are not going to be rent to them at this time. It is best and most respectful to call and follow up with a written correspondence (email is acceptable) stating the reason for not accepting the application such as: “We will not be extending an invitation to lease due to your credit findings.” If the reason for not renting is credit, the credit reporting agency will give you the name and address of the credit bureau for you to give to the prospective tenant to obtain a copy of their report for no charge. Below are some other common reasons for rejecting a tenant’s application:
Not enough rental history
Bad credit, evictions, collections
Criminal conviction, drug manufacture
Going through the step to properly process your tenant applicants gives you the confidence and security in selecting a quality and qualified tenant for your investment property. The amount of time and money you put in is well spent to ensure a prosperous and healthy relationship for you and your tenant in the future.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.