Part of my job as a leasing manager is to oversee some of the marketing and leasing of a property. Two of the key aspects to leasing are marketing and tenant screening. Today, we’re talking about tenant screening and the parts of a thorough tenant background check.
Communicate Qualifying Expectations
As a showing agent, one of the best perks of the job is getting to know people and finding a home that’s best suited for their needs. We take all the criteria they are looking for, and then narrow down the search to find the best home available for them. I meet a lot of people and hear a lot of stories. Some of them are heartbreaking, and you want to do anything you can to help those people. The best way to help is to let the prospects be aware of the qualifying expectations. Having proper documentation and running a background check will give us accurate information on the prospect so an informed decision can be made.
Proper documentation should be submitted by anyone 18 years of age or older who will be living in the house. The documentation will include a complete application, proof of income, and a copy of a government-issued I.D. We also ask for pictures of any animals that will be living in the property for any amount of time. We review the application and the information to see if the tenant is financially qualified. Then, we reach out to the owner to get approval for animals, property repairs, or any terms the prospect might have for the lease. Please keep in mind this is done before running a background check. So, if the owner does not want to agree to a pet or the prospect’s requested lease terms, the application process ends.
Running a Background Check
Once the approvals are received, we proceed with processing the application, which includes three important steps. Running a credit check is the first step. This provides an up to date look at the applicant’s credit history. It shows how financially responsible the applicant is, and where they place their priorities when they’re paying for things. Hardships may have occurred, and you can work with people who are trying to improve their situation. The second step is running a criminal background check. This is a national search to see if the applicant has ever been convicted of any crimes that might impact a tenancy. Finally, we run an eviction check. This will tell us if an eviction has ever been filed in their name.
After you gather all this documentation, you can do one of three things. You can approve them with no conditions, approve them with some conditions, or deny them.