The Top Fort Worth Property Management Company Recommends Rigorous Tenant Screening

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Tenant screening is a corner that many landlords feel they can cut. It makes sense to think “this person seems nice enough, they have a job, what could go wrong?” And it is certainly true that the faster you place a tenant in your rental home the faster you might see the rent checks coming in. But at Specialized, we know the dangers of careless tenant screening. We are here to remind you just how important it is, and how you can go about screening potential tenants.

Why Screen Tenants?

When you place a tenant in your rental home you are trusting them to make their rent payments, but how do you know if you can trust the applicants? While it is true that there may be unforeseen circumstances for even the best tenants, you can be sure to save a lot of headaches by thoroughly screening your applicants.  A careful screening of their background, credit, and rental history can give you peace of mind that you are leasing to someone who will take care of your home and has a record of trustworthiness. That is why the top Fort Worth property management company recommends screening every applicant before they sign a lease.

How to screen potential tenants

Screening potential tenants includes:

  • Requiring an application for tenants over 18 years old.
  • Verifying combined tenant income that is at least three times the rental rate.
  • Avoiding tenants with evictions and judgments, and asking for an explanation of late or unpaid payments.
  • Verify past two years of rental history and make contact with previous landlords to ask if there was any major damage while the applicant lived there.
  • Comply with all anti-discrimination laws and fair credit reporting act during the screening process.

Your Specialized Team’s Ft Worth property management can help you expedite these processes so you can place a quality tenant as soon as possible. Give our office a call today to learn more about all our services.

Find More Reliable Tenants: Three Steps for Fort Worth Rental Property Management

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You tell your kids to choose their friends wisely because you know their friends can have a great influence on their lives long term – for better or for worse. You hope they don’t get desperate and hang out with just anyone.

They could say the same to you about the tenants in your Fort Worth property. Management of tenants is hard enough, don’t make it harder by renting to the first tenants who come along. Poor tenant qualification can lead to major problems down the road such as rent delays, property damage, higher turnover, legal issues, and eviction risks. On the flip side, renting to the right tenants – even if it means more work up front – can lead to consistent rent payments, a well-kept property, longer leases, and ultimately higher profits.

As Fort Worth rental property management professionals, Specialized offers sage advice: Three-steps for quality tenant selection.

Step 1: Confirm Ability to Pay

Request an application for every tenant over 18 years of age. This is not extreme. It is necessary to confirm that the combined tenant income equals at least 3X the rent rate. Do a credit check on each applicant and verify employment as well as income. Call previous landlords and verify at least the last two years of rental history. Two questions to ask: 1) Was the rent on time? 2) Did they damage the property in any way? Watch for previous evictions or judgments in your search as well.

Step 2: Do Background Checks

Conduct thorough background checks and screen out those with a history of drugs or theft, especially violent or sexual offenders who can bring additional liability and concerns. In addition to official databases, your reference checks should also include employers or colleagues, not just friends or family, to get unbiased responses.

Step 3: Follow the Rules

Finally, before you start, know the law and stay in compliance with all housing, discrimination, contract, and Fair Credit Reporting laws throughout the screening process. Save yourself costly lawsuits, penalties, and fines by doing things right, every step of the way.

One last piece of advice from a team of professionals who have been around the Fort Worth rental property management block a few times. You do not have to do all of this alone. Specialized has over 30 years of experience to help you quickly place the most qualified tenants possible. We collect applications, confirm income and employment, and check credit, rental history, criminal backgrounds, and even terrorist lists. We make it our business to know and follow all of the regulations involved with owning rental property. We exist to protect you, your cash flow, and your property from nonpaying or destructive tenants. Consider Specialized one of your good-influence friends. Set a good example by giving us a call, then add us to your favorite contact list. We’ll add you to ours.

Make Prospective Tenants Fall in Love with Your Property

It’s the time of year where love is in the air. How can that love make your Denton property management business become more profitable? When you make prospective tenants fall in love with the rental properties you have to offer!

A good property manager knows that finding the perfect tenant for your rental property is like dating. First, a couple meets and finds common interest which heightens the attraction. The couple continues to see each other, and eventually comes a profession of love, and perhaps even a marriage proposal.

Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth, Texas goes through a similar process when finding the ideal tenant to fill your rental property. First, we meet the prospective tenant to show them the home. Then, we learn about their rental history and background including job history, credit history and any criminal records. This process can either make or break the relationship. After everything checks out, and the prospective tenant has declared they love your property, the proposal- or rental agreement- is brought to the table. The ‘marriage’ begins when both property owner and tenant have signed the lease agreement and build their relationship from that point on.

But, how do you get to the point of a tenant loving your property? A few smart decisions made during the purchasing phase will help make finding tenants simple:

The Tenant Lust List

    • Single Family Homes
    • 3+ Bedrooms
    • 2+ Bathrooms
    • Fenced Yard
    • Standard Layout
    • < 15 Years Old

The Tenant Loathe List

    • Under 1000 Sq Ft
    • No Fence
    • Busy Streets
    • Quirky Layouts
    • No Master Bathroom
    • Homes Older than 25 Years

Other Relationship Builders

While in the purchasing phase, it is important to remember a few other keys to hearts of potential tenants. These include:

  • Location. Look for markets that have higher rents, lower vacancy rates, and appreciating home values for your rental property.
  • Amenities Matter. Consider the quality and proximity of area schools, public transportation, shopping and other amenities in the area as they can be used as selling points when marketing the home.
  • HOA’s Can be a Headache. HOA’s can add time, fees and hassles that should be considered when purchasing.

Keeping these tips in mind during the purchasing phase will ensure a smoother pathway to tenants falling in love with your property.

Conducting Background Checks

Conducting Background Checks

The key to finding responsible and reliable long-term tenants is selecting the right tenant to begin with. Adequate screening up front will help you eliminate potential short-term renters or long-term headaches. Fort Worth property management can guide you through a screening to find the best fit for your property while also keeping in mind discrimination laws that you must follow.

 

Rental Application Form

Create or use an application that covers all necessary information you may need to evaluate a future tenant. Include questions about financial, employment, and personal information. In addition to questions the tenant will respond to his or herself, absolutely include release forms that authorize Fort Worth rental property management.

to order background, criminal, and credit checks. Use this form to initially screen general financial and employment status. Look for potential patterns like consistent turnover of employment. Also, any areas left blank on the form could be a red flag for information the tenant may be trying to hide.

 

Contact References

Contact all references requested. The application should request references from previous landlords, employers, and character references. Fort Worth rental property management look for gaps in landlord history. Leaving out contact information for recent landlords can also be a bad sign. In addition to asking previous landlords if a tenant paid all rent, additional questions can offer insight into what renting to that tenant will really look like. Ask questions about timeliness of payments, damage to the unit, any conflict with neighbors, if the security deposit was collected, and if the landlord would ultimately rent to this tenant again. Property management in Fort Worth TX can use information from references to avoid risky renters.

 

Criminal Background Checks

While credit checks are vital to assessing a potential tenant’s ability to pay rent, credit checks do not tell you about a person’s criminal background. Not only are you seeking to run a profitable business, it is also your responsibility to ensure the safety of the community. It is difficult for law offenders to become home owners, so the likelihood of several of your applicants being repeat criminal offenders is fairly high. Criminal checks no longer take weeks for Fort Worth property management to process and are well worth their effort. Other registered lists such as terrorist activities and sex offender lists can also be checked.

 

Property management in Fort Worth TX can help you screen your prospective tenants to find a lasting tenant for your rental business.