Who is your ideal tenant?
For most landlords, someone who pays rent on time and uses the rental without damaging it is a dream tenant. But what if the same tenant holds loud parties, causing disturbance to neighborhoods? Not worth the trouble, for sure.
This is why roughly 90% of landlords in the U.S. do tenant screening. It involves checking a rental applicant's credit history, criminal background, employment record, and other factors.
Screening tenants can take time and can be hectic if you have several rental units. The alternative is to outsource it, but is it a sound idea? Certainly!
Read on as we make a strong case for outsourcing your tenant screening process.
If you're a DIY landlord, it's a no-brainer that you need to check an applicant's credit history and employment status. This is how you will establish whether they can afford to pay the rent and assess their default risk.
However, a tenant's financial wellness isn't the only factor to consider when screening them. You might be aware that you need to check other things, but if you're looking to fill the rental quickly, you could overlook doing additional screening.
Yet, without a comprehensive tenant screening report, it's impossible to make a well-informed judgment on a tenant's suitability.
On the other hand, reputable tenant screening services don't cut corners. They check what needs to be checked before making a decision. When they approve a rental application, rest assured that it's a high-quality tenant.
It's easy to underestimate how long tenant screening takes if you've never done it before. What you thought would take a few hours can turn into a two-week errand.
There are a couple of reports you need to get from different agencies, which take longer than you'd anticipated.
A tenant screening service knows its way around the various service providers and can get the required reports quickly.
A quicker screening process means a faster turnaround time for finding new tenants. Over several years, the time saved in tenant assessments can translate into several months' worth of rental income.
Tenant screening doesn't give landlords the right to ask applicants whatever questions they'd like. There are limits defined in the law.
For example, you cannot ask an applicant about their race or nationality. Nor should you inquire about their marital status or sex. If you do, you'll violate the Fair Housing Act, and the applicant can sue you for discrimination.
Landlords who don't have a good understanding of tenant's rights are at risk of breaking the law during the screening process. To protect yourself, outsourcing is the perfect solution. In any case, tenant screening services know the relevant laws inside out, so they're unlikely to violate them.
Outsourcing Tenant Screening Is the Way to Go
Finding reliable tenants is your goal as a landlord. Tenant screening tools are available to help you find these tenants, but even then, taking the DIY approach isn't recommended. You may not have the time or experience to properly screen and identify quality tenants.
Outsourcing puts the task in the hands of the professionals. At Austin Property Management, we're tenant screening experts. Call us today and let's put the best tenants in your Austin, TX, rental property.