Tenant screening. Fundamentally necessary, but often overlooked. After two years of great tenancy, my client’s dwelling located at the Tuscany Townhomes in the West Kendall, is becoming vacant.
In my quest to find them great tenants, here are my tips to increase their odds of landing the right tenant with 5 basic screening criteria all potential tenants should go thru:
- Criminal Background: Ask tenants to get a police report from a local police station. It usually costs less than $1o per person and they can get in minutes. Or they can go to www.sentrylink.com and download their background at $20 per head.
- Credit History: Its always best for the tenant to get this on their own at any online provider. Make sure the ones you’re handed were obtained recently, it has the name of that tenant, a minimum of two credit scores are provided, and the history of such scores are also detailed.
- Proof of Employment: Depending on the employer, you can get this over the phone, but its always best on the company’s letter head. Each employer has a different procedure for releasing this information. At a minimum, the data provided should contain the tenant’s name and their salary.
- Proof of Income: Simply ask for recent pay-stubs which has the tenant’s and company name on it.
- Previous Landlord Verification: For this one you have to be sneaky. You simply ask the tenant for their previous landlord info…that is it. Then phone that landlord and ask three questions: a) would you rent to such tenants again b) what is the address of the rented property c) what is your complete name (the landlord’s).
As the previous landlord is telling you their name, pull up the address on the county’s tax records to verify that the address matches the name you are given. It all has to match! If the name of the property is under a company name, then you will have to take an extra step.
Go to www.sunbiz.org and pull up the name of the company. Here you will be able to see if the landlord you are talking to is a manager (owner) of the company.
If you are unable to verify employment on the company’s letter head, then at least get it verbally. THEN…not only ask tenant for pay-stubs…also for recent bank statements. And make sure the pay-stub amounts match the deposits in the bank statements.
So…need a tenant? Please complete below form.