The key to a successful investment property is filling your rental units with great tenants.
In the last 20 years, approximately 69 million eviction cases were filed across the country. A big reason for this is that landlords weren't properly screening new tenants. The importance of a tenant background check can't be understated.
Today, we're going to tell you why you should be doing background checks and give you a few key tips on tenant screening in general. If you're worried about property damage and late rent, then you need to find tenants that you can trust. Keep reading and we'll help you do that.
What Is a Tenant Background Check?
A tenant background check gives you the chance to screen your applicants before they become tenants. As a landlord, you've got a set of standards that you want your renters to reach. You want them to pay rent on time, be respectful of your property, and be respectful to other tenants.
When you do a background check, you'll get a better sense of someone's character through their employment, their credit, and criminal history. You then use this information to make your decision on which applicant you want to live in your rental property.
Why Are they Necessary?
Conducting background checks on new tenants might feel intrusive, but it's necessary for keeping your property and other tenants safe. You can't be blamed for not wanting a violent criminal or sex offender to rent from you.
In some places, however, it's illegal to deny applicants based on their criminal history. In South Carolina, for a small fee, you can obtain a criminal background check and use it to make this important decision.
Doing It the Right Way
When it comes to getting a sense of an applicant's financial standing, you can check references and pay stubs. Contacting an applicant's employer is a good way to ensure that they're gainfully employed, while pay stubs give you an accurate depiction of whether or not they can afford your rental.
You can also get a sense of their character by contacting former landlords. If there are any concerns, such as property damage, parties, or unauthorized pets on the premises, their previous landlords will let you know.
Getting the Right Help
If you feel uncomfortable with running a tenant background check, it might be in your best interest to hire a property management company. A full-service property manager, like Home River Group, can handle everything from advertising the property to screening tenants and rent collection.
Having a good property manager allows you to take a hands-off approach with your investments. The property manager will do the difficult things like finding and dealing with tenants, while you sit back and collect rent every month.
Check Your Tenants Out
Now that you know the importance of performing a tenant background check on every applicant, you can fill your rentals with the best candidates. With good tenants, being a landlord becomes a much easier job.
If you'd like help running your Columbia, SC rental property, contact us at Home River Group to find out what we do and how we can maximize your investment.