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LEGAL DICTIONARY

Tenant Screening

Tenant screening is a process carried out by landlords to assess the eligibility of potential tenants for a rental property. It is normally carried out via legal documents such as rental application forms.

It allows owners or property managers to check the background of the applying tenant and to ensure that the candidate is suitable before signing a full lease agreement contract and to avoid a potential eviction situation further down the line.

Why It’s Important to Screen Your Tenants Before Signing a Lease

Carrying out a tenant screening is one of the most important things you should do before signing a lease with a potential occupant of a rental property. This can help landlords to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in lost revenue and legal fees should they need to serve an eviction notice and take the tenant to court later on.

Tenant screenings are a vital step to help owners and managers decide if the prospective renter is going to follow the terms of the lease properly. They also help you get a much clearer picture of whether or not the tenant can afford to live in the property and how they are likely to treat it.

What Reports Can You Get During Tenant Screening

There are a number of background checks that you are entitled to carry out as a property owner or manager. These allow you to find out more about the financial situation of your applicant or their rental history with previous landlords.

The main tenant screening checks that are usually done include:

  • Criminal background checks
  • Credit checks
  • Employer references
  • References from previous landlords
  • Eviction history reports
  • Proof of income
  • Interviews with the tenant themselves

Be aware however, that you must get direct consent from the applicant to carry out some of these checks. Across almost all states you must get permission before performing a screening such as a credit or criminal record check.

Not only that but each state has its own laws on the information you may and may not request from a tenant. Therefore, it’s vital to create a rental application that complies with the statutes of your state, county or city.

Tenant screening is a process carried out by landlords to assess the eligibility of potential tenants for a rental property. It is normally carried out via legal documents such as rental application forms.

It allows owners or property managers to check the background of the applying tenant and to ensure that the candidate is suitable before signing a full lease agreement contract and to avoid a potential eviction situation further down the line.

Why It’s Important to Screen Your Tenants Before Signing a Lease

Carrying out a tenant screening is one of the most important things you should do before signing a lease with a potential occupant of a rental property. This can help landlords to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in lost revenue and legal fees should they need to serve an eviction notice and take the tenant to court later on.

Tenant screenings are a vital step to help owners and managers decide if the prospective renter is going to follow the terms of the lease properly. They also help you get a much clearer picture of whether or not the tenant can afford to live in the property and how they are likely to treat it.

What Reports Can You Get During Tenant Screening

There are a number of background checks that you are entitled to carry out as a property owner or manager. These allow you to find out more about the financial situation of your applicant or their rental history with previous landlords.

The main tenant screening checks that are usually done include:

  • Criminal background checks
  • Credit checks
  • Employer references
  • References from previous landlords
  • Eviction history reports
  • Proof of income
  • Interviews with the tenant themselves

Be aware however, that you must get direct consent from the applicant to carry out some of these checks. Across almost all states you must get permission before performing a screening such as a credit or criminal record check.

Not only that but each state has its own laws on the information you may and may not request from a tenant. Therefore, it’s vital to create a rental application that complies with the statutes of your state, county or city.