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Finding the Perfect Renter: A Landlord’s Guide to Tenant Applications

Do you own properties? You should consider renting them out. This is a great opportunity to make money.

It’s an investment that can pay off, but it also comes with risks. Chances are you have heard of the horrible stories about bad tenants.

image - Finding the Perfect Renter: A Landlord's Guide to Tenant Applications
Finding the Perfect Renter: A Landlord’s Guide to Tenant Applications

To protect your investment, you need to find the right tenants. One of the best ways to find good tenants is by screening them. You need to ask the right questions on the tenant applications.

Read this guide to learn how to find tenants with the aid of your tenant applications.

What is Tenant Screening

More people are renting now as the economy turns around. With more people looking to rent, you’re likely to have a lot of people asking for a renter application.

Finding tenants is easy, but finding the right ones isn’t an easy feat. With so many issues that you can experience as a landlord, you need to focus on tenant screening.

This is a process that you must conduct to qualify renters. As a landlord, you can’t rely on first impressions. First impressions don’t always help.

By screening potential tenants, you can get rid of problematic individuals. Yes, the ones who don’t pay on time and those who don’t clean up after themselves.

The information that you get can help you make an informed decision. Before you start to screen, it’s a good idea to read your state’s landlord-tenant laws. These will inform you of the actions you can take during this process.

Establish Your Guidelines During the Pre-Screening Process

You can do a pre-screening of tenants. It’ll save you a lot of time and headaches later.

Consider creating your guidelines to inform people of your conditions. Think about these as standards that you set to find reliable tenants.

State that you have a rental application. Individuals who are looking to rent must complete it to qualify. If a person doesn’t want to fill out one, it should be a red flag on your radar.

Conditions you can include should help to protect your property. You might want to consider including a no smoking policy. You can also exclude pets.

You can conduct a phone interview with each potential tenant as part of this process. This will be your opportunity to ask the right questions.

You can ask why they’re looking to move. You can also ask how they were with previous landlords. This is also a great time to go over your condition.

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Rental Application Process

Now that you have a potential tenant, you can get them to complete a rental application. The rental application will help you to gather crucial details. You must know what to include:

Ask for Contact Information

The first thing you must ask for is the potential tenant’s contact information. Ask for their legal full name and phone number. You should also ask for their social security number.

By asking for the social security number, you have an obligation to protect it. Keep all this information secured.

Current and Prior Residence(s) Information

In the next section of the application, you should ask for your prior living history. It’s a good idea to ask for five years of address details.

This will give you the chance to look for patterns. Determine if the person is a long-term or short-term tenant.

Employment History

You should also ask about their employment history. Ask for their employer’s contact information. This can help you determine if the person isn’t lying about employment.

Look for gaps in employment. You want to find out if the person will be a financial liability for you.

It’s a good practice to ask for a copy of the person’s last W2. You can also ask for recent pay stubs.

Do a Background Check and Credit Report?

You can conduct a criminal background check. This is an important part of the tenant application process.

Did you know that landlords can conduct a credit report? Yes, you can run a credit report on potential tenants.

If a potential tenant has a low credit score, you might want to ask for a cosigner. You might also want to consider asking for a larger deposit. Remember, you have to protect your investment.

It’s a good idea to ask for references. You can contact the references to learn more about the character of the potential tenant:

Accepting and Rejecting Tenants

After you get information on each potential tenant, you must verify it. Then, you can accept the tenants who meet your standards.

There are different factors to consider, but you have to use your judgment. Don’t be afraid to reject people.

Do you want to learn what other options you have to vet potential tenants? Refer to the experts by reading their guide. Click the link to check it out.

Use Tenant Applications to Vet Potential Tenants

If you’re a landlord, you want to make money by renting your properties. You need to protect your properties, so consider renting to good tenants.

You can create tenant applications to screen potential tenants. It’s a good idea to have a tenant application template you can make copies to have ready to use.

Ask for the information you read about in this guide. The answers you get will help you find the right tenants. It’ll give you some peace of mind.

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