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Screening Rental Applications: What to Look For

Screening rental applications is a critical step in the success of your Salt Lake City Rental Property. Although you may have a desire to fill vacancies quickly, it can sometimes get in the way of finding the perfect tenant and can lead to a costly mistake. Bad tenants tend to damage property, miss payments, and can be extremely difficult to deal with. In order to avoid problematic tenants, keep an eye out for red flags through a thorough screening process. Here’s what to look for.

How to Screen Rental Applications

screening tenantsCredit Score

Checking the credit score of a prospective tenant is crucial. If you notice missing payments or glaring signs of financial irresponsibility, it may be a good idea to decline their application. However, you can always give some flexibility for minor credit issues. Although some landlords believe credit score is the most important, it’s not the only thing to consider. For example, an applicant may have a low credit score due to an unforeseen medical situation but continuously make their payments on time. While another applicant may have a higher score but is in collections from past due bills. Although each applicant has a similar credit score, the first applicant shows a higher level or commitment to their finances.

Background Check

Just like a credit score, a background check can expose red flags. Do they have a history of drug use, theft, or vandalism? In the end, it’s up to you to decide which infractions are deal breakers. A minor crime from their younger years may not mean that they’ll be bad tenants. However, if you notice a continuous string of charges and convictions, you may want to pass on their application.

Employment History

To verify their employment, ask for pay stubs or call their employer. A strong rental applicant will have a stable job that they’ve held for a long period of time. Although switching jobs is understandable, it’s important to keep an eye out for long gaps in between jobs.

Proof of Income

Similar to employment history, proof of income is a must in the screening process. Make sure they can afford rent, utilities, and basic needs each month. To calculate their average monthly income, divide their year-to-date income by the number of months.

Application Fee

The screening process takes time and money, so it only makes sense to charge fees for the application. Most application fees generally cost $35 to $75 per person and arenon-refundable. If they have a hard time paying for the application fee, chances are they’ll have a difficult time paying for rent on time.

Lease Signing & Deposit

Once their application is approved, it’s time to sign the lease and collect the deposit immediately. If they’re not ready for this step, move on to the next application so your property gets rented as soon as possible.

screening tenants

Contact Real Property Management Salt Lake City

The screening process isn’t a one size fits all situation. Your Salt Lake City rental property is one of your largest assets, so it’s important to take the time to find the right tenant. If you have questions about screening rental applications, contact Real Properly Management Salt Lake City today at 801-571-7400.


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