Why Tenant Screening Can Make or Break Your Dallas, TX Rental Investment
If you’ve got a rental property in a hot area, what’s next?
Tenant selection is next. And, let’s face it: the tenant screening process and finding the right tenant can make or break your real estate investment. Today, we’re reviewing some key steps you need to take.
Basic Rental Requirements
We require a good rental history, a gross income of at least three times the amount of rent, no felonies, and no evictions. That’s basic. We use a third party screening service to pull court records so we know if the applicant was involved in court proceedings or bankruptcies. The service also pulls background reports. We have to make sure we check the background properly to minimize any liability that may fall on you as the property owner.
Verifying Applicant Information
Once we get all of that information back, we do some verifications in-house. We check income by doing an employment verification and by collecting pay stubs. We verify rental history by sending requests for information to an applicant’s current and previous landlords. We require information for a minimum of two years when it comes to verifying employment and rental history.
Extra Screening Protections
Some of these applicants will lie on their applications. So, it’s important to ensure that you are actually speaking with the property manager, or the landlord, or the apartment complex. My team and I take it one step further and do checks to make sure we are speaking to the right person and not a relative of the applicant. It’s important to take a little extra time on the front end with your screening process to minimize headaches on the back end.
Pay Attention to the Applicants
Go with your gut instinct once you have all of the information. Often, when applicants are viewing the property or interacting with me or my team, they will show their true colors. As part of our screening process, we have a provision on our criteria form saying that if an applicant is rude, misbehaving, or unruly, we can decline their application. It’s those little things you have to pay attention to while you’re screening these applicants.