Tenant screening is one of the many real estate terms you will need to know If you’re looking to maximize your rental income, and find the right tenant who will pay rent on time and take care of your property.
But how do you find such a tenant? By screening.
You need to screen tenants in order to determine if they are suitable to rent your Minneapolis property. So, it’s incredibly important that you have a thorough and effective tenant screening process in place.
The following is a quick guide to effective tenant screening in Minneapolis.
Of course, your ultimate goal is to find the right tenant for your rental property, and this goal should properly align with your tenant screening process. The specific qualities that you should aim for include:
Once you know your goals, move to the next step and draft an effective tenant screening process.
Pre-screening will help save valuable time for both you and your tenant. It helps eliminate any prospect who doesn’t fit your qualifying criteria early on.
You can start the pre-screening process immediately after a prospect reaches out to you. Usually, this occurs immediately after you have advertised your property for rent. The inquiry may come in the form of a text, a call, or an email depending on the contact information.
During this initial contact, you’ll want to ask the tenant a few pre-screening questions in order to gauge their suitability to rent your home. Such questions include:
Normally, a tenant will reach out anywhere between 30 and 60 days before moving in. This means that you’ll only have a limited time span to conduct the entire tenant screening process. It’s possible that the only time you’ll meet the prospect will be during the property showing.
During the property showing, you’ll want to pay attention to a few things. Generally speaking, a quality tenant will show up on time, ask questions, and agree to background checks without an issue.
If the prospect checks on all of these boxes, continue with the screening process.
Request the right information from your tenant in order to run an effective tenant screening process. The following are the details to request for.
Make sure that the rental application form is also compliant with the Fair Housing Act, if you are not then you leave yourself vulnerable.
Don’t just rely on what the tenant has indicated on their rental application form and stop there. It’s always a good idea to verify all the information provided to you.
When it comes to income and employment verification, you’ll want to contact the prospect’s employers. The following are a couple of questions you’ll want to ask them.
Just like you did with their employer, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the applicant’s prior landlords as well. Prior landlords don’t have any reason to lie about the tenant.
Prior landlords will be upfront in regards to how the tenant was. That is if they paid rent on time, were a nuisance to neighbors, or caused negligent property damage.
The following are a few questions to help you:
The credit rating of a person is indicative of their financial reliability. A low credit rating shows that there have likely had payment issues in the past. On the other hand, a high credit rating shows fewer chances of a default.
Preferably, only consider renting to tenants that have a credit rating of at least 670. But you should use your best judgment to determine whether the applicant’s credit score is sufficient given their current situation.
Once you have examined every aspect of the screening, you should accept or deny a prospect. If you accept the tenant, make sure to require them to sign a lease prior to allowing them to move in. Also, ask for a security deposit to help cushion yourself against potential issues.
On the other hand, if you reject a tenant, make sure you have proper grounds for doing so. Please note that you cannot reject a tenant on the basis of certain protected classes. Protected classes in Minnesota include race, color, disability, sex, nationality, and familial status.
Having a thorough tenant screening process is key to running a successful rental investment in Minneapolis. If you need expert help in this regard or any other aspect of property management, MN Property Nerds can help. MN Property Nerds is all about exceptional service delivery to its clients.