Once you gain a pool of prospective renters, the next thing you need to do is screen the potential tenants to then decide which of them is the most qualified renter for your property. A qualified renter being one with a decent disposition who will maintain the property well and pay their rent on time and without complaint.

But one of the reasons landlords can struggle with their investments is that they lack the skills to identify and screen for high-quality renters.

At Keyrenter South Florida, we believe a thorough tenant screening is necessary to select the most dependable, trustworthy tenant and protect the security of your rental property. This post will teach you all there is to know about tenant screening.

Verify Income and Employment

It’s critical to confirm your prospects’ employment information to see whether they are being honest about their income.

So, it is best to get in touch with a potential tenant’s employer once the rental application has been sent. This should be done immediately to determine if the applicant has enough income to pay rent.

Depending on the company’s policies, calling a potential employee’s employer is a wonderful way to confirm. Some will ask you to send an email to a specific email address or call a specific phone number to verify their employment.

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Understand the South Florida Laws

Understanding and abiding by the regulations that apply to landlords are necessary if you want to be a successful landlord, as a discrimination lawsuit can easily bankrupt a landlord.

When people rent, buy or finance any housing needs, they are protected against discrimination by the Fair Housing Act. This requires you to refrain from using discriminatory language in your advertising, hiring procedures, or even in-person interactions with potential renters.

Remember that tenants may have extra protection under your state or even municipal legislation, so you should be aware of these laws. Before advertising or screening for tenants, be careful to familiarize yourself with any local legislation.

Hold Property Viewings

Property viewings are a crucial stage for landlords as they give you a chance to highlight your rental’s best features and get to know potential tenants. At this point, it’s a good idea take advantage of the situation and assess the applicants who will be viewing the property.

You can tell them about recent upgrades and when they can anticipate routine maintenance inspections. You should pay close attention to the person’s demeanor, tone, and look, among other things when discussing these things. If you find someone you really like, invite them to move on to the next step of the application.

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Set Standards for Tenant Screening

It’s crucial to understand the kind of tenants you’re actually looking for as you’ll find it simpler to spot excellent tenants when the time is appropriate. But if you’re overly stringent, you risk turning away potentially excellent tenants.

You can use data like rental history, income, references, criminal records, or lifestyles to influence your choice successfully. Remember there are laws governing criminal background checks, so it is always advisable to check twice before rejecting potential tenants.

Interview Potential Applicants

Conducting an interview is the next stage in the application. But, if you have enough data to disqualify the applicant, you can forgo the interview and proceed to more qualified applicants.

Examine your records regarding the renter during your interview and discuss any findings you may have. It’s also a good idea to clearly discuss anything negative, to clarify any potential errors in your findings during this interview.

Ensure you are aware of the proper procedures for conducting legal tenant screenings without taking into account a person’s color, gender, religion, ability, national origin, or family situation.

According to federal fair housing regulations, applicants are protected from discrimination so, asking incorrect questions or excluding an otherwise qualified individual could leave you vulnerable to legal action.

Accept or Reject the Applicants

After gathering financial and background information, confirming their earnings and employment, and making your choice, you should be in a position to decide which prospect is the most qualified.

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The process of selecting renters for your rental property should provide you with enough information that sufficiently supports your decision to accept, reject, or proceed with caution.

This is particularly true if you’re a seasoned investor or landlord who is accustomed to interviewing potential tenants. Turning someone away can be more challenging for newer real estate owners.

Conduct a Pre-Screening

Your marketing advertisements should also include all your specific requirements from a tenant. For instance, the listing should state the rental pet regulations and energy bill splitting arrangements. So, for example, if a prospect has a dog, they won’t apply.

Bottom Line

It’s crucial to ask questions and assess your prospects when you’re speaking with them during all stages of the rental process. You can learn a lot of details and assess whether the application satisfies the requirements you’ve set.

It’s helpful for you because many low-quality tenants won’t go through a thorough screening process. You can focus on those who adhere to the standards and are interested.

As part of the leasing process for your South Florida home, tenant screening is essential. It helps prevent future issues and safeguards you from loss and damage to your unit.

Get in touch with our Keyrenter South staff if you need assistance with tenant screening or any other aspect of property management.