As a landlord, your tenant screening process will help you find qualified renters. Then, you’ll have to choose one of those tenants for your property. Today, we’re providing some tips and best practices on how to do that.
Just having a solid qualifying process will automatically weed out poor tenants or professional tenants. When people have a history of eviction or serious problems with landlords, they won’t apply through a professional property management company, or with a landlord who has a good tenant screening process.
Property Management in Salt Lake City: Minimum Requirements
We use a couple of good qualifying indicators as well as recommended minimum requirements.
First, do a renter verification and check an applicant’s rental history. This can be an indicator that’s more accurate than credit or employment. People may have bad credit but always pay rent on time and take good care of rental properties. Someone with a great job and terrific credit may have a history of trashing rentals. Talk to current and former landlords, and find out what kind of tenants these applicants have been in the past.
You’ll also want to check credit. While it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a good or bad tenant, a credit screening will tell you if an applicant is financially responsible.
Solid employment history is a great indicator. Someone who has been in a job for a while is often a dependable renter who can afford to pay rent on time.
In Utah, you can check criminal records and ask about convictions. Check your local laws to make sure there aren’t any restrictions. Remember also that convictions are different than arrests. In the United States, we are innocent until proven guilty. Depending on the crime, denying a tenant with a record doesn’t have to be automatic. Some felonies may even be permissible if they aren’t violent or recent.
Property Management in Salt Lake City: How to Choose a Tenant
If you don’t have a property management company screening tenants for you, it’s possible to just choose your favorite applicant who is qualified. If you are working with a property management company, they will probably have a system in place. It’s important to stick with that system and be consistent. The first come, first served system is recommended because it will help you avoid lawsuits. This is a cut and dry way to choose a tenant, and you can demonstrate there is no discrimination. Some property managers also have a system where you rank tenants from most to least qualified. Just make sure the system is clear and documented.
If you have any questions about tenant screening or anything pertaining to Salt Lake City property management, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Miller & Company Property Management. We’re ready to help you.