Fifteen landlords are responsible for over half of the evictions in Virginia. Evictions are often lengthy and expensive, so it's best to avoid them.
Owning a rental property in Charlottesville, VA, can bring significant profit. Finding the right tenants is crucial to your success as a landlord.
Do you want to ensure that you pick the best tenants for your income property? This is where the tenant screening checklist comes in handy. Keep reading to learn what a Charlottesville landlord should keep track of.
Gather All Relevant Documents
The tenant screening process begins with gathering essential documentation from potential tenants. A detailed rental application is the first step in the process. This often includes questions about their rental history, employment, and personal references.
Remember to get a government-issued ID to confirm the applicant's identity. That way, you won't have as many security risks.
You should also get recent pay stubs, tax returns, or bank statements. This makes it easy to assess the applicant's financial situation.
Speaking with former landlords can give you insights into their previous rental behavior. For instance, you'll know if they've paid rent on time and maintained the property.
Prioritize a Credit Check
A thorough credit check is a fundamental aspect of tenant screening. You should look for a credit score of 700 or higher.
Pay attention to any outstanding debts, late payments, or bankruptcies. This information can help you gauge their financial responsibility.
Run a Criminal Background Check
Be careful about any violent offenses. This can pose significant safety concerns for your property.
Some states have restrictions on using drug-related convictions in tenant screening.
Look into whether the applicant has a history of damaging rental properties or causing disruptions.
Employment Verifications Are Key
Confirming the applicant's employment status and income stability is essential. It's another way to ensure they can meet their financial obligations.
Ask for employment verification letters from their employer. These documents can prove their current employment and income.
Calculate the applicant's income-to-rent ratio. A general guideline is that a tenant's monthly income should be at least three times the monthly rent.
Rental Property Inspections
Property managers should conduct a detailed inspection of their investments. Look at the property for any damage or maintenance issues that need attention. Document the property's condition with photos.
Address any issues found during the inspection before the new tenant moves in. This ensures that the property is in safe condition.
Walk through the property with the tenant before they move in. Point out any imperfections or issues that you plan on handling. You can always rely on a full-service property management solution.
It's Time to Complete Your Tenant Screening Checklist
With this tenant screening checklist, you can avoid major oversights. That way, you'll have loyal tenants who will stay for the long haul.
Tenant screening can take up plenty of resources. You can rely on PMI Commonwealth for comprehensive solutions in Charlottesville, VA. Aside from tenant screening, we also handle advertising, maintenance, and even evictions.
We'd love to discuss the details with you, so contact a PMI team member today.