Tenant Screening: How Does It Work and How Do You Do It?

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Every year, more than two million tenants are evicted from rental properties. The eviction process can be costly and time-consuming for landlords and that's before considering potential rent arrears or the costs of renovating your property.

Conducting tenant screenings is a great way to reduce the chance of renting to problem tenants. But many landlords aren't sure how to conduct a thorough tenant screening. 

Want to learn about how to conduct a full tenant background check? Still around! We've put this guide together to help you understand the basics. 

Collect Relevant Information With an Application Form

An application form is a quick and easy way to screen tenants. By asking relevant questions, you can encourage potential renters to essentially screen themselves! 

First off, you'll want to know an applicant's income. Are they in stable employment? Do they make enough to amply cover the rent?

It's also important for you to check out their previous rental history. Check how long they've been in other rental properties and ask their reason for leaving. If they've got a long record of quickly moving from place to place, or they've never rented privately before, it might be something of a red flag. 

Chase It Up

Information on an application form is all well and good. But you need to verify that what an applicant is saying is true.

That's why you should insist on contact details for employers, previous landlords, and references. You can also ask for documentation to prove financial status and previous income. 

Don't just take their word for it. You need to follow up the client's interest with calls to all these places. If the information they've put on the form doesn't check out, that's a huge red flag. 

Run a Background Check

There are a few other things you'll want to know about your tenant before you rent them a property. Do they have a criminal background? Have they ever been evicted?

While you can find the answers to some of these questions online or in public sources, some of this information is difficult to find. Many landlords choose to engage a private company to conduct a tenant background check on tenants.

While this can be effective, the costs can pile up pretty quickly, especially if you're renting out multiple properties. Of course, there's another way to conduct this screening process. 

Take the Hassle Out of the Tenant Screening Process

Conducting tenant screenings is one of the best things you can do to reduce the chance of renting to problem tenants.

To get the best of both worlds, why not pay an experienced, reliable company to do the hard work for you? We take the pressure off you and give you the benefit of our expertise. 

GC Realty & Development offers comprehensive property management services in the Chicago area. From tenant screening to maintenance, we've got you covered. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you. 

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