Nowadays, people want to rent rather than purchase a property. Owning a house has always been seen as the realization of the American dream. Fair or not, it’s one of the criteria to look for if you’ve made it in life.
For instance, more and more Millennials do not see anything wrong even if they will continue to rent throughout their lifetimes. According to a recent survey, more than 1 in 10 Millennials are not likely going to buy a house. However, 7 in 10 of those surveyed also admitted that they could not afford a mortgage for a new home.
The trend is both an opportunity and a risk for landlords and property owners. On the one hand, they are guaranteed their apartments would not stay unoccupied for long. On the other hand, the long list of candidates makes them complacent that they forget to check the backgrounds of potential clients.
To avoid this problem, they should invest in software for property management that has tenant screening among its many features.
What is Included in Tenant Screening
A tenant screening feature is a crucial tool in the property management software that enables you to check the background of the applicant with a simple interface. You do not need to hop from one agency to another to secure information on the candidate.
The software for property management should have the tenant screening feature, which includes:
- Police reports and court records
- Credit history
- Eviction notices and records
- Tenant history
- Employment records (current and previous)
- Social Security Number
It should be noted that a police record is different from a conviction. The landlord could not reject the application of the potential tenant on account of the police record alone.
Since the reports are generated from one platform, you can speed up the process of tenant screening. With that said, there are some items there that would be impacted by forces outside of your control. For example, when the request for criminal records is addressed to the court located out of state. In another instance, the previous landlord might not be too keen on cooperating by giving you the information you need.
Importance of Background Checking
Veteran landlords already know how crucial the screening process is to get the ideal tenant. You will be inviting a headache if you fail to check the credit report, the tenant history, and even the criminal background of the candidate.
Some of these tenants also know how to manipulate the process and legal procedures if it suits their needs.
For example, evicting a tenant with a criminal record is not always black and white. The landlord does not have blanket authority to kick the individual out of their apartment. However, the owner also has the right to protect the property, as well as the other tenants.
The bible of the property owners on any rental-related issue is the Fair Housing Act, so always take time to read it in your spare time.
Using the property management software, you make the process of screening candidates more comfortable. Again, the primary objective is to have a tenant who pays on time, respects your property enough not to vandalize it, does not annoy the neighbors, and keeps to themselves.