The distinction between an outstanding tenant and a troublesome tenant lies in your tenant screening process. A reliable tenant offers peace of mind, ensuring on-time rent payments and proper care for your rental property. Conversely, a problematic tenant can lead to significant challenges and expenses in the future!

When welcoming potential renters to your investment property, conducting a comprehensive screening process is crucial. This serves as the primary defense for your Memphis rental property. With thorough screening, you can avoid admitting a high-risk tenant who could transform your rental income aspirations into a nightmare.

However, identifying insincere applicants posing as quality renters can be challenging. Effective tenant screening is essential to selecting top-notch tenants and preventing unsuitable ones from entering your property.

Therefore, explore these recommendations from our reputable RiverTown Realty property managers to secure exceptional tenants with the proper tenant screening process!

What to Look for When Screening Tenants in Memphis

As a Memphis rental property owner, how can you decide on your next tenant? When educating oneself on screening tenants for your rental property in Memphis, consider the criteria below.

Verify Their Identity

Ensure that the tenant is the person they claim to be by confirming their identity. Verifying the tenant's true identity is more crucial than ever, given the persistent threat of identity theft. This verification process will give you essential insights about the individual, including details on outstanding debts, legal judgments, or bankruptcies.

Background checks are common among landlords and are critical in evaluating tenant suitability. Conducting a background check early on will help you filter out applicants who may present a risk to your property.

Should you discover any inconsistencies between the information provided in the application and the prospective tenant's actual identity, it's advisable to discontinue the screening process and reconsider their suitability for your Memphis rental property.

Review the Rental Application

Your rental application should request essential details necessary for evaluating potential tenants. For example, you must gather information about their previous landlords, criminal record, income level, current and former employers, and a selection of referees who can endorse possible tenants. You should reference these details from the application during the vetting process.

Before conducting background checks, thoroughly examine the application to avoid any omissions. Discrepancies in their rental track record and employment may indicate significant concerns.

If you are worried about your ability to identify such issues or believe your screening procedure may not be sufficiently rigorous, collaborating with a qualified property manager in Memphis can assist in rectifying any shortcomings before they lead to future complications — or worse, evictions.

Businessman talking on the phone while looking at digital document on computer

Use the Gathered Details for the Tenant Screening Process

It is imperative to follow up thoroughly. This is a crucial step that many landlords overlook, leading to repercussions in the future.

The details obtained from the application should be utilized to:

  1.  Reach out to the potential tenant's previous landlord to assess their rental history, payment punctuality, property condition after their tenancy, and the return of their security deposit.

  2. Ensure that you are in contact with the correct individual: inquire about their name, property ownership, and request their official business phone number.

  3. Contact your applicants' past and current employers to confirm their employment status.

Furthermore, before finalizing a tenant agreement, request bank statements or pay slips to confirm their financial capability to cover rental expenses and other costs. A general rule is that the tenant's income should be at least three times the rent amount if renting solo.

Conducting a Screening for Potential Tenants

Engaging the candidate in a face-to-face conversation (or a video call) will provide insights into their character. Exercise caution when evaluating potential tenants. Utilize the personal interview to delve deeper into the tenant's background and cross-check their application.

However, be mindful of potential biases that may impact your decision-making! Avoid violating the Fair Housing Act, as it can result in legal disputes and conflicts with prospective tenants before they even occupy your rental property.

In cases of uncertainty, consider collaborating with a professional property management firm like RiverTown Realty. Our expertise can guide you effectively through the tenant vetting process.

Examine Their Credit Report

Reviewing a potential tenant's credit report provides insights into their payment track record, debts, credit profiles, defaults, and other pertinent financial details. This analysis will facilitate your assessment of whether the tenant can fulfill the financial obligations of your Memphis rental property.

Instances of numerous defaults, high credit utilization, or delayed payments from a tenant could indicate that your property might exceed its financial capacity.

Another aspect to ponder while formulating tenant screening strategies is aligning your policies and procedures with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) stipulations. If you need guidance on adhering to these crucial privacy laws, collaborate with a property management firm well-versed in and compliant with these regulations. This approach safeguards both tenants and your rental property investment!

A couple of tenants receive keys to house from property managerLearn How to Screen Tenants for Rental Property with a Qualified Memphis Property Manager

As a Memphis landlord, your primary objective is to attract top-quality tenants for your rental property who intend to maintain your investment with care. Tenant screening is your initial—and most effective—method to achieve this goal. By adhering to the straightforward tips we've presented today, you're already on track to discover your perfect tenant.

Nonetheless, if keeping up with the screening requirements mandated for landlords by the FHA, FCRA, and ADA seems daunting, you always have the option to seek guidance from our seasoned rental property professionals. RiverTown Realty has established procedures and extensive experience in helping property owners select high-caliber residents for their properties. Contact us today to learn more about our tenant screening services and how we can assist you in finding the ideal tenants for your rental property.