One of the most important things you will do in managing your property is screen the right resident. You want to find a good fit for your property because nothing will cost you more as a landlord than a bad resident.
First, look at the resident’s ability to pay. You always want to get one month’s worth of paycheck stubs so you can confirm they have enough money to pay the rent in a timely manner. In addition to reviewing income, you also want to check out their history with landlords. Drive by the property the potential residents are currently living in and see what it looks like. If it is not being taken care of on the outside, chances are it looks just as bad on the inside, and you will know then you do not want them as residents. Make sure you call the current landlord and make sure they are paying their rent on time and taking care of the property. Ask about the last time the landlord was in the property. Another important thing to do is to talk to the previous landlord. Find out if they left owing rent or if they cleaned up and left the property looking good.
Conduct a credit check as well. This is important because it will show you whether the residents are responsible about paying debt. Look for unpaid bills or other negative credit situations. Find out if there are any unlawful detainers filed against the residents. This will tell you if they have been evicted in the past, or the subject of an unlawful detainer court action due to nonpayment of rent. Sometimes, this information does not show up on a credit report. However, you can always check that information with the municipal court in your local area. Most of them have a website that provides such information for free. All you have to do is type in the person’s name, and you will find out about any unlawful detainer proceedings.
As you are looking for residents to live in your rental property, remember that the most important thing you can do is thoroughly screen those residents based on income, rental history and credit. Do yourself a favor and protect your property by taking this process very seriously. We can help you, so if you have any questions on how to screen residents, please do not hesitate to contact us at PURE Property Management.