Tenant Screening Myths That Landlords Might Not Know

As a landlord, finding the right type of tenant in your rental property remains your top priority. This part of the job can be daunting because having the wrong tenants can cost you in repairs, back rent, and eviction fees. Some people can become more of a nuisance and make life difficult for you.

In contrast, there are also few perfect people out there that make the whole process seem so easy. These tenants pay their rent on time, treat your property with respect like it’s their own, follow your rental policies and communicate well with you and your neighbors. 

Even if you are sure you got the best tenant, you need regular property inspections to avoid issues in the long run. First, it shows your tenants how much the property means to you. Your tenants will not feel the need to respect your property if it does not mean much to you the owner in the first place. More importantly, a routine inspection helps you communicate and reiterate to your tenants how you want them to return the property. 

However, all these would only make sense if you have good tenants. The big question in your mind like other landlords like you is, how do you find these people? This is why a property inspection is a key part of your job as a landlord. To make matters worse, there are several myths out there on how to find the ideal tenant that, in reality, only harm your business.  

In this article, we will help you debunk some of these myths about tenant screening

1. Any tenant is better than having an empty property

There is a common misconception that it's better to have tenants than to leave a property vacant. Sometimes, especially when it seems like there are not many prospects, landlords get tempted to pick just any tenant instead of paying for property maintenance for an empty house or unit.

2. The landlord covers the cost of tenant screening

Tenant screening can cost between $30 to $60. For some landlords, it is restrictive when you have a number of applicants. However contrary to what you have been told, you do not have to pay for tenant screening. Instead, you can add the cost to their application fee. 

3. “Go with your gut”

Yes, your instincts might be good, but they are not a proper tool when you are looking for a good tenant. You can’t rely on one meeting or your emotions when accepting tenants. You must understand that people can lie but background checks and numbers do not. So instead of using your gut, look for reliable records that can tell you more about the prospective tenant like:

  • Income records
  • Financial history
  • Criminal records
  • Eviction history 

SGPNow can help you simplify the process and get you a proper background check tailored to suit your needs. That way, you do not have to waste time and you have access to exactly what you need.

4. Checking the credit score of a tenant destroys their credit score

Prospective clients might be concerned that checking their credit score would negatively affect that score. This is only true when you do a hard check that requires their social security number.  

5. One tenant reference is enough

References are good because they give you an insight into the behavior of someone. Although it can be time-consuming, you get the best information when you reach out to as many people as you can. Even if the first reference says something negative, try not to be too assuming and reach out to all of the others provided. A one-off negative experience doesn't necessarily mean they will be a bad tenant. However, look for a pattern in behavior when speaking to the others.