Being an “owner” requires one set of responsibilities. But once you decide to rent out your property, you take on a whole new, second set of duties as “landlord.” And they can be tough.

One of the best examples of this is the tenant screening process. It’s a notorious hassle for owners without professional property management experience and resources.

Here’s why: For every tenant applicant you’re considering as an owner handling landlord duties yourself, you MUST….

Verify the applicant’s income:

  • Do you know the right numbers to look for?
  • Do you know the “annual salary to annual rent ratio” that will ensure your financial protection?
  • Do you know what records you can/cannot ask for to verify income?

Run a credit check:

To complete 1 credit check on 1 applicant, you’ve got to….

  1. Get signed/written permission AND specific information from applicants. (Know what that is?)
  2. Go through 3 differing processes to pull 3 full credit reports from 3 separate credit unions.
  3. Pay for each report. (Do you know costs? Do you have a plan to factor them into application fees?)

Get the RIGHT references:

  • Do you know which type of references to request?
  • Once you get references, do you know what to ask these individuals when you contact them?
  • In checking references, do you know what the best predictors of a “positive owner-tenant relationship” are?
  • Do you have the experience to know which red flags and green lights to look for?

Know all federal, state, and local fair housing laws (backwards and forwards):

Follow them when completing the above screening steps….
And through the duration of your time as a rental property owner.

Most owners come to realize that doing “landlord work” themselves is time consuming. Then they realize that doing the work WELL—in a way that brings good return on their investment—is a full-time job. That’s when they make the smart decision to hire a property management company.

Let our team be yours! Contact us to find out how we can help.

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