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What Landlords Should Look Out for When Reviewing Tenant Applications

What Landlords Should Look Out for When Reviewing Tenant Applications

What Landlords Should Look Out for When Reviewing Tenant Applications

Evict headaches, not tenants! Choosing the right tenant can help you maintain your property while also getting income on time. You must follow the correct procedures for tenant screening if you want to ensure that both you and your renters have a positive renting experience. When evaluating tenant applications, consider the following factors:

#1 Credit History

Your first line of defence? A peek at a potential tenant’s credit history. This isn’t about shaming – it’s about finding someone with a track record of responsible bill payments. Think of a credit score as a financial fingerprint. A high score suggests a history of on-time payments, while a lower score might indicate potential rent-related hiccups down the road.

But what is considered a good credit score? Well, a good score ranges from 660 to 724. 

#2 Income Verification

Next, it’s time to ensure your tenant has the resources to back up their rental dreams. Don’t be shy – ask for proof of income. Recent pay stubs, bank statements, or an employment letter confirming salary are all fair game. 

#3 Rental History

Check references thoroughly. Contact the current and past landlords listed on the application and ask these questions:

References are like a tenant report card – a glimpse into their past performance that can predict future success.

#4 Background Check

Run a background check. This is about uncovering any red flags that could put your property at risk. Look for things like evictions, criminal history, or outstanding legal issues. Bonus tip: In Canada, check out www.openroom.ca to see if other landlords have left any tenant reviews!

#5 Occupancy

It’s important to verify how many people will be living in the unit. This can be done by:

  • Comparing application and lease agreement: Ensure the number of occupants listed on the application matches the lease agreement.
  • Talking to the applicant: Ask directly how many people will be residing in the property.

Why it Matters:

Having more people than what’s agreed upon can lead to:

  • Overcrowding: This can cause wear and tear on the property beyond normal use.
  • Potential lease violation: Many leases have clauses limiting occupancy.
  • Safety concerns: Some areas have occupancy limits based on fire code regulations.

#6 Gut Feeling

Choosing a tenant might be similar to choosing a roommate, so follow your instincts. Sometimes, even when everything appears positive on paper, you could just get a bad feeling. Do not hesitate to respectfully deny an application if something feels odd.

Learn a little more about them. A phone conversation or video chat with the candidate could help you feel more comfortable with your choice. This is a lighthearted approach to gauge their communication style and personality.

Be cautious and take your time. Making the additional effort now will prevent stress in the future. Through a thorough application process and some initial personal interaction, your chances of selecting a trustworthy renter are increased.