Choosing the right resident is one of the key components of a successful rental property.
The ideal resident is one who will pay their rent on time, maintain the property, and adhere to the terms of the lease agreement. But to find this person, you need to have an effective resident screening solution.
The Basic Criteria
While every landlord is unique in exactly what they are looking for. There are a few attributes that every landlord looks for regardless of the property or location:
- They income qualify.
- They have stable jobs.
- They have positive references from other landlords.
- They treat the property with respect.
- They have a clean criminal record.
Now that you know the basics of what makes a great resident, we can take you through our screening strategy.
Pre-screen Your Prospects
To save on time and improve the quality of your screening solution, we would advise considering pre-screening your residents.
In the rental ad for the property, remember to include the list of requirements above. Unqualified residents will be dissuaded from contacting you, especially if you include that you will be screening prospective residents.
Ensure Everyone Applies
At Five Star Property Management, we believe in the power of the rental application. A properly structured application qualifies a potential resident quickly and easily. Here are some things you should include to make the most of the application:
- Collect all applicable contact information.
- Detail all previous addresses and landlords.
- Current employers.
Additionally, if a potential resident submits a partly filled form, you might want to reconsider their application. Or at least contact them to clear up the missing information. If you have any issues creating an application form, it is a good idea to contact a property management company that can assist you in building the application.
Check Employment Status
A resident’s employment status and income level will determine their ability to afford the rent on your property. As a practice in the industry, we recommend that the income level be at least three times the rental price. There might be unique situations where you can consider a resident who earns less than the ‘three times’ rule. But that is something to consider on a per case basis.
We would advise getting a full history of employment as well as some references just so you can corroborate what is on your application.
Collect Rental References
As part of the rental application form, we advise requesting the resident’s current and prior landlord information. We also highly recommend that you get in touch with them.
Like the above section, you will want to check your references. The trick to identifying a real landlord is to ask pertinent questions that only a landlord will know. For example, HOA fees, payment of utilities of filing of their tax returns.
Check the Background
Security is one of the most important factors in building a successful rental property. Some landlords will opt to do a full background check on prospective residents. If this seems daunting or you don’t have the time, we at Five Star Property Management can check the following on your behalf:
- Prospects credit score.
- Verification of the social security number.
- Criminal history check.
- Check for prior evictions.
Accepting or Denying a Prospect
For those prospects who have passed screening, the next step should be the signing of the lease agreement. You can either send them an e-document or have them meet you in person.
But for the prospects who were not successful, simply write them an email to let them know. This will serve as evidence as to why you have denied their accommodation.
As a landlord, you will want to maximize the return on your investment in a Pocatello rental property. Your aim is to earn a stable rental income, have fewer maintenance demands and enjoy low turnover rates. All of which is possible if you have the right resident screening solution in place.
And if you have the right property management company as your partner.
So, if you have any questions or need help, contact us at Five Star Property Management today. We are a full-service management company with years of experience in managing single-family homes, townhouses, apartment units, and homeowner’s associations. With our experience and industry knowledge, you will get the highest level of service for your Pocatello rental property.