Tenant screening is one of the most important functions of a landlord or a property manager in Colorado Springs. The tenant you place will have a serious impact on the type of rental experience you have. When you put a good tenant in your property, you can count on timely rent payments and some assistance in maintaining your investment. You can trust that your tenant will follow the terms of the lease and renew for another year or longer once the tenancy is complete. With a bad tenant, you’ll be chasing down late rent, paying for property damage, and constantly threatening eviction.
Screen your tenants thoroughly and consistently, and if you don’t have the necessary tools, resources, or time to do it correctly, get some help from a professional property manager.
Individualized Tenant Screening Systems
Many property managers will outsource their tenant screening to third-part companies or use their property management software, like Appfolio. At Blue Mountain, we do the screening ourselves. We conduct in-depth credit and background checks on each applicant, and we visit social media pages and look at online reputations. We rely on the data we collect, and also on our experience. We have rented enough properties to enough tenants to know when a tenant is marginal and a when a tenant is well-qualified. We make decisions based on the information we collect.
Checking Criminal and Credit Histories
It’s essential to look at an applicant’s criminal past and financial history before offering a lease. Look at each case individually. Perhaps you’ll be willing to rent to a person with a long list of speeding tickets but not to someone with a drug conviction. When it comes to credit, don’t just glance at the credit score. Take a look at their debt and what they owe. It’s important to know if your prospective tenants pay bills on time or let them fall into collections. Be especially careful of applicants who have prior evictions or large outstanding debts to former landlords, property management companies, or apartment communities.
If an applicant doesn’t have great credit, we’ll talk to the owner about whether or not they’re comfortable with assuming the risk of this tenant. If the prospect has a great rental history with glowing references from former landlords and a high enough income, it’s possible that credit won’t matter so much.
Verify All the Information on the Application
Your application should be detailed, and your screening process should verify all the information provided on that application. It starts with the identity; make sure you check social security numbers and state-issued identification. When you pull the credit report, make sure the addresses match up to the former addresses on the application. Confirm that the applicants work where they say they work, and ask for verification that proves their income. This could be in the form of pay stubs, tax records, or bank statements. Just make sure the entire application makes sense, and everything adds up.
We are proud of our thorough and specialized tenant screening process. If you need help placing tenants or anything pertaining to Colorado Springs property management, please contact us at Blue Mountain Real Estate & Property Management.