9 Essential Items to review when Tenant Screening for Rentals


Selecting the best tenants for your property ensures long-term placement, solid income, reduced property damage, and fewer headaches. The process of choosing quality tenants is fairly simple, making it a worthwhile step to complete before renting your property. Most landlords require the completion of a rental application for all prospective tenants. You should require this application as well. When screening tenants for occupancy at your rental home, the following 9 items are most important to consider when you want tenants that will make life a pleasure rather than a living nightmare. Ask these questions on the application and verify the answers and you’ll find the perfect tenants for your property.

  1. Length of Residency

The amount of time spent at one location is a sign of the length of time this individual may reside in your home. Take a look at this information before deciding to allow a tenant to move into your property.

  1. Reasons for Leaving

Sometimes a person moves from one location because they are ready for change, need something bigger, or simply want to move to a new area. Sometimes, however, people are moving for reasons far worse, such as eviction, problems with the landlord, etc. It is imperative that you ask why residency in prior homes ended when screening tenants. The last thing that you want to do is allow problematic tenants to move into your property and this question makes it easier to avoid such a situation.

  1. Income

“If the prospective tenant doesn’t have a steady, stable income of at least three times the monthly rent amount, consider your search for a tenant,” said Real Property Management Dade. Without this stable income amount, covering rent costs and other expenses may be far too great of a burden for the individual.

  1. Employment

Choose a tenant to occupy your home that has a lengthy employment history with just one or two companies. Loyalty exists within your business life, too, and an individual that isn’t switching jobs left and right has this quality.

  1. Criminal Records

Closely evaluate the criminal record of any tenant that you plan to allow occupancy in your rental unit. This is imperative not only for the neighbors and community, but for you as well. Pay special attention to any type of violent charges, drug charges, and those involving fraud or forgery.

  1. Credit History

Bad things happen to good people. While it is essential to take a look at the credit history of an individual to ensure they are not going to skimp out on the rent, it is also important to remember that one or two negative marks may not always indicate a bad tenant. Look at the credit history of the prospective tenant and evaluate things on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Sex Offender Registry

There is a national database for sex offenders. Check this registry whenever someone wishes to reside at your property. If your rental property is in a community where there are many families and children living, or for other personal reasons, you may wish to avoid renting to someone that is included on this list.

  1. Eviction History

Checking for prior evictions before renting to a tenant is also important. Do not search locally only. A nationwide search may reveal information that you otherwise would not have known. If a prospective tenant has an eviction (or more than one) on their record, is this really a chance that you’re willing to take by offering your property to them?

  1. Bankruptcy History

There are special laws in place protecting those who’ve recently filed for bankruptcy. Many landlords simply wish to avoid the legalities and choose not to rent to anyone with a new or recent bankruptcy on their personal record. Although this is a personal decision for you to make, it is highly beneficial to access the information to help decide if a tenant is worthy of your rental property.