Every year, 2.7 million American households face eviction. The eviction procedure is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved; the landlord has to go through a lengthy and draining process, and the tenant loses housing.
One way to protect yourself as a landlord and decrease the chance of eviction is to have a good tenant screening process.
Below are the steps to the tenant screening process in Phoenix, AZ.
Create an Application
You probably have the ideal tenant in mind, but it'll be hard to sift through all potential tenants if you don't have an application.
When screening your tenants, start with a simple one that asks for:
- Full legal name
- Contact information
- Pet information (if you have a pet-friendly property)
- Current and previous employers
- References from current/previous employers and landlords
Run a Background Check
A tenant might seem like they're trouble-free, but you never know what's lurking in their past. To be safe, you should run background checks on all potential renters.
However, you should know that you're required by law to get their signature/permission first. There are also other steps you need to take before and after getting the report, so make sure you follow them to a T.
Make Sure You're Not Discriminating
You're allowed to be picky as a landlord; after all, you're entrusting your property to someone on a long-term basis. But you need to be careful and not have discriminatory practices, as this can put you at risk of a lawsuit.
Take care to read the Fair Housing Act and familiarize yourself with what's considered discriminatory.
Get Proof of Income
Anyone can say they're employed and have money in the bank, so you need to get proof. Otherwise, you might be stuck with a renter who won't pay rent on time (or at all!).
Acceptable documents for proof of income include:
- Pay stubs
- Job offer letters
- Bank statements
Ask for proof from the last three pay periods so you see consistency in recent times.
Interview Them in Person
An in-person interview is an excellent chance for you to see if someone's a good fit. Not only that, but you can also see if they've told the truth on their application.
This is a great chance to show them around the property too. That way, they can get a feel for things and won't have any surprises upon moving in.
Have Good Tenant Screening in Place
Tenant screening is vital if you want to cut down on renter turnover rates. It can also decrease evictions, which is a huge headache to deal with.
By having an outstanding tenant screening system in place, you'll be able to discern between the good and the bad. And as a result, your job as a landlord will be easier.
Want someone else to do the tenant screen process in Phoenix, AZ? Then contact us now. Our property management services will handle everything so you don't have to.