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Tips for tenant screening

Screening tenants is your key to success.

Man and woman standing in an empty house.

Once you have written and posted your listing and determined a fair rent price, you should be generating some interest from prospective tenants. It will be in your best interest to determine if the prospective tenants will be a good fit. Requiring a rental application, meeting in person with the prospective tenant and performing a tenant screening or background check is important.

Screening tenants is your key to success. A solid tenant screening process tells you if your tenant will likely pay rent (based on affordability and their financial history) and if your tenant will be responsible (based on employment stability, eviction history and criminal history).

Your tenant screening process should:

  • Include a rental application that asks the right questions,
  • Require a tenant background check, and
  • Include a showing where you ask questions and look out for these red flags:
    • Inconsistent answers to questions,
    • Reluctance to complete a credit and background check,
    • Delayed communication or expressing disinterest, and
    • Disrespectful behavior at your property showing.

You also need to verify the rental applicant has a renters insurance policy to protect their personal belongings and your property in case of damage to your rental.

Online tenant screening

Your tenant screening process should be consistent. To make sure you're complying with fair housing laws, you should follow the same process for everyone and talk to a lawyer if you have any questions.

The easiest way to complete tenant screening is online. Using an online application and a credit and criminal background check is faster and provides enhanced security for your tenants. They can be assured that their personal information will not be lost or misused.

Put it all together

The tips in this article will help you choose quality tenants. After all, the goal of tenant screening is to find tenants who pay rent on time and take care of your property. Learn more below on how you can easily screen your tenants online.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


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