Did you know that a whopping 30% of Americans have poor or bad credit?
This is just one of the red flags you’ll need to watch out for when screening potential tenants.
The tenant screening process is one of the most important steps in successfully generating an income from your rental property. Without good screening, you can easily wind up in a tenant-related nightmare that costs you unending amounts of time and money.
Thanks to this, it’s often wisest to opt for a tenant screening service rather than going the DIY route.
Although DIY tenant screening can save you a couple of bucks in the short term, it can also be a recipe for disaster. Unless you have years of experience in vetting tenants, this process is often best left to the professionals.
Feeling divided on whether or not a tenant screening service is worthwhile? Continue reading to find out all the reasons why you need to press go on professional tenant screening.
Hiring a Tenant Screening Service Saves You Time
One of the first reasons you should hire a tenant screening service is that it will save you a lot of time.
A thorough tenant screening process is pretty involved. At the very least it should include:
- A background check
- A credit check
- A reference check
- Checking rental history
Although this might not sound like a lot, it is. Between calling up employers and ex landlords, you should also cross-reference potential tenants’ bank statements with their lease payments. This will give you an indication of how promptly they pay their rent.
You’ll also want to analyze how much money they have available for rent and whether this is enough for your unit.
Imagine drawing credit checks and background checks on a handful of tenants, calling their employers and the previous landlords, and analyzing their bank statements? If you’re screening more than two tenants, this process could take days.
If you hire a tenant screening service, they will handle all of this legwork for you. Instead of devoting days to screening potential tenants, you can outsource this task and win back time and energy. Once the property management company has screened your potential tenants, all you’ll have to do is read through the tenant screening reports.
You’ll Have a More Thorough Tenant Screening Process
Besides saving you time, a tenant screening service will also ensure more thorough and comprehensive results.
Because the tenant screening process can be so time-consuming, a lot of landlords screen one or two tenants, choose one and call it a day. While this can work, it isn’t usually a recipe for getting the best tenant possible.
If your rental is in a high-demand location, you can choose to be a little pickier with your tenant criteria. However, usually, this calls for more tenant screening. A tenant screening service will be able to quickly and easily screen various tenants to ensure you get one that meets your requirements.
A Tenant Screening Service Can Save You Money
Another reason why you need a tenant screening service is it can save you money in the long term. Although you will have to pay the tenant screening service a fee, this is usually well worthwhile.
If you don’t comprehensively screen your tenants, you open yourself up to the risk of accepting ones that:
- Don’t pay their rent on time (or at all at some point)
- Damage your property beyond what the deposit can cover
- Cause disturbances
- Carry out illegal activities from your property
This is just a short list of the liabilities you might face from accepting a tenant who hasn’t been thoroughly vetted.
Depending on the circumstances, an unsatisfactory tenant can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, legal fees, lost rent, etc. For instance, did you know that if a tenant absconds and doesn’t pay their rent, most states still require you to store their belongings for a certain period?
A simple situation like this can trigger storage costs, or delay the date by which you can get new tenants.
You Won’t Be Tempted to Make Exceptions
Want to know one of the most dangerous parts of the DIY tenant screening process? Making exceptions.
We are all human, and it’s natural to feel compassion and a personal connection to other people.
Let’s say someone contacts you about your rental. You meet and get on well really with them. Next thing you know you’ve signed the lease agreement purely on the basis of liking the new tenant.
A few months down the line, however, you find they are becoming problematic, aren’t paying their rent on time, and, finally, refuse to move out when you give them notice. A situation like this can easily lead to legal costs, lost rent, and malicious property damage.
In almost all cases, these types of scenarios can be avoided completely through a thorough tenant screening process.
If you hire a tenant screening service, you won’t be tempted to accept a tenant purely because of a personal connection. No matter how likable they are, they’ll still have to go through the same screening process as everybody else. This can eliminate a lot of bad actors and nightmarish scenarios.
Property Management Companies Have Comprehensive Knowledge of Tenant Screening Laws
Tenant screening services are usually carried out by property management companies. These companies have a far more comprehensive understanding of screening laws than any layperson.
Tenant screening laws? Yes, they exist, and it’s vital you abide by them, otherwise, you might land up in hot legal waters.
For instance, you need to ensure that your tenant screening process adheres to the laws in the Fair Housing Act.
With a property management service, you can rest assured that all tenants are screened in a legal and fair manner.
Are You Looking for a Reliable Tenant Screening Service?
Not only can a tenant screening service save you time and hassle, but it can also protect you from legal issues, court fees, and all the other issues that can come with having a problematic tenant in your rental.
Have good tenants starts with a good screening process, and the best way to implement this is by leveraging professional tenant screening.
Looking for a reliable and reputable tenant screening service?
Delaware Realty Management specializes in thorough and comprehensive tenant screening. Not only is our tenant screening process 100% legally compliant, but it’s also streamlined, and provides tenants the opportunity to upload their documents online.
Contact us today to enjoy the benefits and protection of a professional tenant screening service.