It’s important to understand that you cannot rely on the information they give you. Verify everything. Check their income to make sure it’s at least three times the amount you are charging in rent. Verify their credit. The credit history is important, but you have to dig a little deeper than just their credit score. How they pay their bills is extremely important. You also need to do a national background check and you need to check the national list of sexual offenders. Look into their financial history for any evictions, bankruptcies or judgments. You need more than just the credit report.
Verify employment. It’s great to look at the pay stubs they provide, but that really isn’t enough. Call the employer and verify that this applicant works there. This is part of ensuring your tenants are who they say they are.
Finally, you have to verify residential history. The way they have treated landlords in the past is probably a good indicator of how they will treat you. Talk to at least two other landlords; ideally the current landlord and the one prior. Find out how the tenants paid their rent, how they treated the property and how they treated the landlord.
You have to verify these things because people will submit false documents when applying for a place to live. They will give you false bank statements, false pay stubs, etc. It’s well worth your time to verify everything. A thorough background check is absolutely essential.
If you need any help with tenant screening or you have any questions about how to do it, please contact us at Drake Properties and Management.