A responsible tenant helps establish healthy business relationships with property owners and managers. You can feel confident that the rent will be paid on time and the property will be properly maintained. A lousy tenant, on the other hand, will create a stressful relationship and make you regret your decision.
Gassen offers property management services for property owners in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We can help you manage your business relationships with tenants. We can also help you with the screening process, which includes best practices outlined below.
1. Request an Application
Every prospective tenant should fill out an application. We can help you create a rental application depending on your needs.
The application should cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision about the applicant. The document should include financial information, employment history, and relevant personal information. The tenant should allow Gassen or you, the property owner, to perform a background check, criminal history report, and a credit check in writing.
The checklist for the applications should include:
● Current and previous employers
● Current income level
● Bank account and credit card balances and monthly payments
● Contact information for previous landlords with previous address, rent amounts, and reason for leaving.
● Family and pet information
● Personal references
2. Run a Credit Check
You can either pay for a credit check or charge the prospective tenant. A credit check will cover details about the tenant’s previous credit history going back 7 years. You can order a credit check from an Equifax Identity Report. What should you look for?
● History of late payments
● Collection amounts
● Current debt
● Unpaid balances
3. Perform a Background Check
A background check will give you an overview of the tenant’s personal history. You can find out about eviction history, criminal history, credit history, and public records. You should look for the following when running a background check.
● Lengthy or repeated criminal records
● Current or past legal battles including lawsuits
● Unpaid child support
● Serious financial matters
Contact Previous Landlords
When contacting previous landlords ask as many questions as possible. For instance, find out about tenant payment history or if the tenant suddenly moved out for no apparent reason. You can ask some basic questions such as:
● Is there any outstanding debt?
● Did the tenant pay on time?
● Did the tenant take care of the property?
● Did the tenant cause any issues with neighbors?
● Was there any reason why the tenant would not have received the security deposit?
● Overall, did the tenant leave in good standing with the landlord?
5. Contact the Applicant’s Employer
The applicant should be able to verify current employment. To verify employment, you can gather the following information:
● Steady, reliable income from the employer
● Recent pay stubs - ask for pay stubs from two to three pay periods.
Keep in mind, that you only need to verify that the applicant is currently working and that the salary is enough to pay rent each month.
6. Conduct a Personal Interview With the Tenant
Contact the tenant and conduct a quick interview in person or over the phone. You may want to get information in writing if necessary. You can find out additional information about the tenant that may not show up on any official reports. Remember, the Fair Housing Act stipulates that landlords cannot discriminate based upon color, disability, family status, national origin, race, religion, or sex.
Some basic questions to ask may include:
● Details about the behavior and maturity of the pets
● The possibility of adding a roommate or family member
● Work schedule
● Smoking habits
● Frequent visits from family or friends
Property Management Services in Minneapolis
If you are looking for a local property management company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, contact Gassen. We offer real estate and rental management for all types of properties. We can also help you with bookkeeping and accounting.
To schedule a consultation, call us at 952-922-5575.