Property Management Blog

Tenant Screening Rules of Thumb – Professional Property Management in Indianapolis, IN

David Treat - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Screening a tenant is the result of a landlord or manager’s hard work: the property is ready to rent, it has been marketed on all the best websites and an applicant is ready to move in. To be successful, the tenant screening process requires attention to three basic areas.

Income and Employment

You need to know the source of the tenant’s income and whether they can afford to pay your rent. For most people, the income source is their job. Find out if their gross income is equal to three times the monthly rental rate. Verify the payment with the employer. Don’t take a tenant’s word for it. Sometimes, a tenant might not have three times the rental rate, but that tenant seems like a good applicant and everything else checks out. In this case, you can approve the tenant and ask for a co-signor.

Previous Rental History

Contact prior landlords and find out how much the tenant paid in rent, if it was paid on time, what the security deposit was and whether the unit was left in good condition. Ask how much of the security deposit was returned. To get this information from landlords, the tenant will need to sign a rental history authorization form. Get that done before you start your screening process.

Background Check

The background check needs to be thorough. You’ll be checking credit history, criminal history, eviction history, as well as public records for bankruptcy, liens and judgments. Take a look at the sex offender regTenant Screening Rules of Thumb – Professional Property Management in Indianapolis, INistry and terrorist no fly list as well.

If your applicant meets all your criteria and you are sure those guidelines are fair housing compliant, you’ve found your new tenant. If we can help you with screening your new tenants, please contact us at ES Property Management. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.