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How to Handle Rental Applications

System - Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Property Management Blog

Across the US, people spend $485 billion in rent every year.

That's why the rental application process for landlords is vital. Taking the time to properly screen tenants will allow you to be sure about your decision to qualify or deny potential tenants. Then, you can avoid the hassle of eviction and tenant turnover. 

Read on for a complete guide on what to do once you have a stack of rental applications to go through. 

Verify Employment History

One of the most important factors you want to know is if your tenant can pay rent. 

Contact their current employer and ask some questions. You'll want to know how long they have been at their current workplace, how many hours they work, if they are permanent employees, and if possible, their salary.

You can also request recent pay stubs to verify income. Experts agree that no more than 30% of a person's income should go towards rent.

If the applicant doesn't make enough money to cover the rent comfortably, they may struggle to pay on time. 

Verify Rental History

On rental applications, applicants will include the previous locations they have rented from. 

Contact the previous landlord to get a sense of what type of tenant this applicant was. Ask about late or missed payments and their conduct while on the premises.

Do a Credit Check

It's important to check your tenant's credit. You can obtain their credit report from the major credit bureaus.

Note that these reports usually involve a fee. This credit check will give you valuable information such as late and missed payments, delinquencies, and credit ratings. 

Perform a Criminal Background Check

One of your duties as a landlord is to ensure the safety of your other tenants. 

It is vital that you conduct a background check on any prospective tenants, so you can avoid putting your property and the neighborhood at risk.

Under federal law, tenant screening can look back seven years of arrest records. There’s no time limit on convictions.

However, this isn't enough to rule out a possible tenant. That's why the next step is crucial before making a decision. 

Call the Applicant’s References

Typically, rental applications ask for a list of references. These tend to include previous landlords. though it takes time, it is a smart idea to call these references.

This is one more piece of information that allows you to get a good sense of the applicant’s personality and responsibility.

Trust the Rental Applications Process

Thanks for reading. We know that it is a lot of work to wade through rental applications properly. Yet, it is in your best interest to make sure that you choose the right tenant.

The good news is you don't have to do it alone. Our team of experts is ready and willing to help you with all your property management needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.