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4 Effective Tenant Screening Tips for Landlords

System - Wednesday, June 8, 2022

If you have a property and are thinking of renting it out, then now is the time.

Where buying a home used to be the dream, renting provides flexibility and other advantages that mean the demand for properties is sky-high. In fact, 80% of people say that renting better suits their lifestyle. 

But finding applicants and knowing how to screen tenants isn't easy, and getting it wrong could mean a life full of trouble. To avoid this, you must do tenant screening.

Read on to find out how.

1. Set Your Priorities 

You must know what's essential for you as a landlord to conduct the most effective tenant screening.

If you are looking for someone to tick all the boxes, however, you will end up with an empty property because none of us are perfect. But having some non-negotiables serves as protection for you and prevents those who may not be suitable from even requesting your property.

For many landlords, screening for tenant income is a must to meet rent each month.

Other things to screen for include whether to allow pets and whether they have a stable job or a criminal record. This helps keep your tenant screening free of hiccups. 

2. Create an Application Form

Next up is the application form. For those new landlords, asking directly for personal information may feel uncomfortable. But we cannot stress enough how important it is. 

Firstly, it helps give a professional impression, showing that you are taking the process seriously. In addition, what you learn from the application helps protect you from unknowingly renting to someone who might cause problems. 

Remember, if tenants have a good track record, they will have nothing to hide. Therefore, if anyone is resistant to doing an application, take that as a red flag. 

3. Time for Background Checks

So now you have their details, what do you do next? 


Get on the phone and do your homework through a tenant background check. This may seem laborious, but out of all the tips for landlords, it is one of the most responsible things you can do.

One swift call to a previous landlord can give you priceless information. The same applies to speaking to employers and looking into credit scores. For example, you can find out if someone had been evicted or had a history of not paying their bills on time. 

If you were to rent to such a person and then have problems down the line, you would only have yourself to blame.

4. Arrange an Interview

Tenant screening before you narrow down the candidates is mainly done offline, but never underestimate the importance of a first impression. 

Our last tenant screening tip is to make sure that you set aside time to meet them. If this can be in person, great. But if not, a phone interview is fine. 

Becoming a landlord is a big responsibility, so getting the peace of mind that they are the right people is priceless. 

This is also a good time to go over any doubts that may have come up in your tenant background check. 

Tenant Screening Made Easy

There are many steps to getting a tenant screening done right. But trust us when we say that it pays off. 

The reality is that many simply don't have the time to do tenant screening. If that applies to you and you live in Charlotte, NC, then look no further than Wilkinson Property Management. With years of experience, we have the eye and the expertise to match the right tenant to your property in no time. 

Reach out to us today to see what we can do for you.