You are wise to choose Bryan-College Station for your rental real estate investment. The consistency of the market makes it stable enough to enjoy long-term growth. However, this only happens when you have long-term tenants that reliably pay their rent.
With tenant placement the key to rental success, you need a thorough applicant screening process. This guide will walk you through every step of tenant screening.
Prequalifying Tenant Screening
Create a pre-screening questionnaire in your tenant portal to streamline tenant placement. Your rental property management company can help you put this together. Quickly disqualify applicants by asking basic questions.
If you don't allow pets in a rental property, those with pets are rejected without moving forward. Another typical qualifier is if the applicant is a smoker.
Background and Criminal Check
You must get the applicant's approval before pulling background and criminal checks. The tenant background check tells you things like credit report, eviction history, judgments, and liens. The tenant criminal background check tells you the applicant's criminal record.
Property managers recommend selecting tenants based on a pre-determined set of standards. For example, no tenants who were convicted of violent or drug-related crimes.
A full service property management company can help you select new tenants by running these reports.
An applicant's rental history will tell you how often they move. You want a tenant that stays in one place long term. If the applicant consistently moves yearly, they will likely do the same at the end of your lease.
Landlords also look for previous evictions. This makes the applicant riskier. You don't want to go through an eviction with the tenant in your property.
Employment and Income
Finding tenants isn't enough; they need to afford the monthly rent. Looking into the applicant's employment status and income will tell you this.
If the applicant changes jobs often, they could be unstable as tenants. They could also struggle to afford the monthly rent. In contrast, an applicant with a stable employment history could be a stable tenant.
Fair Housing Compliance
Before you start using your new screening process, make sure it complies with Texas Fair Housing Laws. A full service property management company can help you check. You could have a discriminatory process and not know it.
For example, while you can not allow pets, you cannot refuse support animals. This would discriminate against applicants with a disability. These are the protected classes under fair housing laws.
- National origin
- Familial status
Practice Strong Tenant Placement
An investment property is more profitable when it has a consistent occupancy rate. This starts with careful tenant placement. Creating a streamlined questionnaire in your tenant portal helps to identify suitable applicants quickly.
By focusing on essential factors like background and criminal checks, rental history, employment, and income, you can make informed decisions. A full-service property management company can guide you in navigating these essential screening steps, making the tenant selection process more efficient and legally sound.
Hire our team of property managers to improve your tenant screening process.