There are a lot of great residents out there. People who are going to pay their rent on time, treat your rental property with respect and be responsible, but as every landlord knows not every resident turns out that way. Resident screening is a vital part of the leasing process. A thorough resident screening is one of the best tools a landlord has to protect their investment. By effectively screening prospective residents you will protect your investment, the property and the local community. Quality residents are the key to long-term profitability. When choosing the best residents, all property owners should be aware of protected classes that are illegal to discriminate against. “The purpose of resident screening is to evaluate the level of risk associated with each applicant, so you can choose the most qualified applicant(s) for that specific property.” -Lucas Hall

How do you ensure you get a great resident? We are going to give you some easy tips for screening residents

Make the prospective resident fill out a rental application. The first step is to make a rental application. The rental application should include:

  • Complete name:
  • Date of birth:
  • Social security number:
  • Current address:
  • Previous address:
  • Home, work & mobile phone:
  • Email address:
  • Driver’s license number:
  • Emergency contacts:
  • Number of occupants:
  • Pets:
  • Rental history:
  • Current/ previous landlord:
  • Employment information:
  • Income information:
  • Monthly gross income:
  • Statement of consent:

Set Up Your  Screening Standards

One of the most important steps in screening your residents is coming up with your list of minimum requirements for the property. This list of standards should be told to the resident.

  • Here are some examples of requirements:
  • Household income must be at least 3 times rent amount
  • Credit score of 650+
  • No evictions, ever
  • Any felony convictions in the last 2 years will be reviewed
  • No violent, armed, or destructive crimes, no or low credit card debt

Proof of Income & Employment

Every landlord should ask prospective residents for proof of income to show that they can afford to pay rent. Pay stubs are good proof of income, ask for the three most recent pay stubs to verify income and place of employment. Other documents that can help you verify income are tax returns, bank statements, social security benefits statement, profit and loss statement. A good idea is to have at least one other proof of income document and compare the two. Income must be three times the monthly rent.

Credit Score & Credit Report

A credit report will show you everything from credit cards, past due medical bills, car payments & mortgage. If a resident has a bad credit score generally this is a red flag.

It is very important to look at the credit report and credit score. This will show you how responsible your resident is managing their payments and debts.

Check Landlord References

It would be ideal to check two previous landlords. Here’s a quick list of questions to ask

  • Were there any late or partial payments?
  • Were there any neighbor complaints or noise complaints on file?
  • In what condition did they leave the property?
  • Would you rent to them again?
  • Did they try to sue you?

If you have any questions or need any help screening your rental home, please contact us at PURE Property Management (951) 225-4020

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