The Ultimate Guide to Tenant Screening for Memphis Landlords

If you want to rent out your Memphis residential property, it is necessary to screen your tenants before you come up with a rental agreement and allow them to move in. A bad tenant can not only reduce your return on investment (or ROI) on the property, but can also create a lot of trouble for you. A good tenant, on the other hand, can become a real asset for your rental property.

Here are the steps that any Memphis landlord should take to screen their tenants before having them sign on the dotted line.

  • Check the tenant’s credit score

There are two reasons why you should check a tenant’s credit score. One, someone who has a record of defaulting on payments may default on his rent obligations too. Two, the credit score speaks a lot about your potential tenant’s financial stability.

  • Check if they have a criminal history

While we do not recommend judging a book by its cover, an important thing to check about a tenant is their criminal background. Avoid renting your property to tenants who have a habit of criminal activity or have been lawbreakers in the past, unless you have adequate proof that they have changed their ways. You do not want to be caught in any legal hassles if your tenant uses your property for any sort of criminal activity. Worst case scenario, they may possibly damage the property for their own benefit.

  • Verify the tenant’s employer

Ensure that your tenant works for a known and verified employer, who pays them regularly, so they can pay their rent on time. If you lease your property to a tenant who works for an unreliable company, you may face problems with timely rent collection. Verifying the employer also gives you an insight into the tenant’s overall social and professional portfolio, helping you make an informed decision.

  • Contact the previous landlord(s) for information (wherever applicable)

A lot of crucial information about a tenant’s behavior can be collected from their previous landlords. If you can find out about any previous landlords of your prospective tenant and contact them, you can learn a lot of things about your new tenant before allowing him/her to move in.

  • Review all applications, don’t make a snap decision

Before choosing a tenant for your property make sure that you review and evaluate all the applications that have been submitted. You may like a prospective applicant at first glance, but take time to review all the applications with an open mind and then take a call.

  • Hire a Memphis Property Manager

Last but not the least, consider getting the professional help of Memphis property managers. Property managers interact with and evaluate tenants on a regular basis. They can extract information from multiple sources and compile it to prepare a solid profile of your prospective tenant that tells everything about him/her. This enables you to make a confident decision about whether the tenant is a good fit for your expectations.

Tenant’s financial stabilityA good tenant is not just a stable source of income for the landlord but also a good neighbor for your neighborhood. It is important to thoroughly screen your tenants before renting your house. Think of this list as a checklist, and you may never have to regret your choice of a tenant! Contact us at RiverTown Realty to learn more about our tenant screening process.