Screening Tenants (the Right Way) With Insights From the Best Property Management Kitsap Offers

The Joseph Group Jun 2021

Ian Joseph

“Clients first!” – is a huge part of the DNA that Ian Joseph and his Team have established at The Joseph Group. This motto helps them focus on striving for the highest level of customer experience, for their clients (landlords) and customers (tenants). In fact, Ian strongly believes that in life, family and business, you must strive to give more than you receive. “You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." - Zig Ziglar

You found the perfect real estate investment property, and you're ready to start making money. Maybe you've owned Kitsap rental for a while, and your latest tenant just moved out. It is time to fill those vacancies

However, before you place the next applicant that looks "good" on paper in your rental, it's important to do proper research using the research they put on their application. Skipping the screening process can leave you a bad tenant and lost rental income! Here's what investors need to know about screening tenants the right way with insights from the best property management Kitsap offers!

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How To Perform Compliant Background Checks

Screening tenants requires more than reading a few applications and making some phone calls to check references. Without reviewing the critical background aspects of every applicant, rental property owners put their properties and income at risk. Make sure your process includes these important steps!

Use FCRA-Compliant Services or Best Practices

Whether you screen tenants on your own or use an outside service, make sure they are FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliant. Mishandling private information for potential residents can lead to lawsuits and shutting down your properties. 

These regulations dictate how to process, report, and store sensitive information when running credit checks, criminal history, and other background research that are parts of a thorough and legal screening process. Protect your properties and your potential tenants by understanding these guidelines, following them closely, and working only with service providers that are compliant. The best property management Kitsap delivers follows FRCA regulations when screening tenants for investors.  

Include These Elements

Your review process should include these critical elements for every applicant. Make sure your rental application collects enough information to perform these background checks.

Credit History

The credit check gives investors a sense of the financial status of the potential tenant. Their credit score is an indicator of their ability to pay rent on time and in a responsible way. If an applicant has poor credit, it may not be ideal to bring them in as a renter. Bad credit is a sign of poor payment history or bankruptcies. 

Criminal History

A background or criminal check can uncover any potentially dangerous behavior from a potential resident, but be careful how you apply criminal background during your approval processKitsap rental property owners must avoid applying a "blanket" policy that denies anyone with any kind of criminal history. However, different types of criminal problems can cause an applicant to fall short of your resident criteria. 

Work with a Kitsap property manager to evaluate criminal history and apply it to your screening process. A person with a history of violence or felonies can be a danger to neighbors or other tenants and present liability issues for you. 

Rental History

Previous rental history can indicate how a potential tenant will behave in your rental based on how they've behaved in other rental homes. If they've missed payments, caused damage, or defaulted, that's important information to know. Talk with previous landlords to learn more about potential renters. 

Don't Forget Pets

Does an applicant have a pet they want to bring into your rental? Pet screenings are important, too! Make pet criteria and screening part of your application and review process. Any pets that live in your rentals should meet your guidelines, and tenants must follow the rules when owning pets in your Kitsap properties. 

Avoid Discrimination at All Costs

Everyone who applies as a tenant has an equal opportunity to obtain the person, no matter their race, color, or status. Make sure your screening and criteria don't violate Fair Housing laws when choosing new tenants! Any discriminatory practices (intentional or otherwise) can lead to lawsuits, fines, and losing the ability to operate your rental properties. 

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Bring In Tenant Screening Experts

It is always helpful when you can bring on experts to help you with the tenant screening process. A Kitsap property manager knows when and how to enact tenant screening activities. The right professionals perform FCRA compliant background checks, getting you the information you need on credit, criminal history, and more.  

Property managers can also help you set up tenant criteria and make sure everything about the marketing, application, screening, and review process follows the law! The right property manager protects your rentals by choosing quality tenants through an expert screening process! 

The Best Property Management Kitsap Offers Screens and Manages Tenants!

Never worry about the quality of the tenants living in your rentals or how to manage them effectively. The best property management Kitsap offers can handle every aspect of finding better tenants for your rentals and serving them well.

When property owners experience better renters, they also experience better returns! Let Joseph Property Management help you find better tenants and follow the law with a thorough and fair screening process.  

Learn more about screening tenants with a free download of our Foolproof Screening Checklist! 

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