4 Tips for Screening Tenants for Your New Kent Rental Property

As a real estate investor, your role as property manager requires you to understand the importance of screening tenants to the future of your returns on an investment is as significant as the property’s location. 

Just as you must perform due diligence before investing, you must perform thorough tenant screenings to protect your income stream, the property, and other tenants. So read on as we reveal four great tips for screening tenants for your new Kent rental property.

Your Application

The first step in screening potential tenants for your new Kent rental property is to have them fill out an application. This application should include questions about their employment and income, their rental history, and their credit and criminal background. You should also ask for references from previous landlords. Charging an application fee is a common way to offset the costs associated with the screening process. Be sure to clearly state the fee amount and what it covers (e.g., background check, credit check, etc.) on the application form. Once you have collected all of the applications, you can start reviewing them to narrow down your list of potential tenants. Look for applicants who have a steady income and good rental history. If you are unable to contact any of the references listed, that is a red flag and you should move on to the next applicant.

Legal Guidelines

There are several federal, state, and local laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including the process of screening tenants for your new Kent rental property. While there are exemptions, from the advertising you place to market the property, to limits on application fees, to fair housing laws, you must understand these guidelines to avoid facing severe penalties. Therefore, it’s always advisable to seek the guidance of experienced professionals in the real estate industry as a further guard against making expensive mistakes.

Personal Interview

It is well worth taking the time to conduct a personal interview when you are screening tenants for your new Kent rental property. However, it’s best to have a script to follow which remains within legal guidelines to protect yourself from asking the wrong questions. It is not possible for everything that adds up to excellent tenant placement to be on paper. Your real estate investments are your business; the difference, the applicants you approve will pay your current income, help you build your wealth, and provide you with the foundation for a secure income in retirement. Because the placement of the wrong tenant can be costly, you must get a good feel for the tenant before doing so. 

Background and References

Once you’ve received the application and conducted the interview, there is one step remaining in screening tenants for your new Kent rental property. You must follow through with thorough background and reference checks. Regrettably, landlords often understand the importance of this step when faced with the consequences of their failure to act. Not only could you have lost income from missed payments, there are turnover costs, legal fees, and the hassle of evictions to deal with, but they could also cause property damage or even cause other tenants to leave the premises. 

Why not let the pros at THINK3RE handle screening tenants for your new Kent rental property and avoid tenants that are hazardous to your investments? At THINK3RE, our local professional investors and our team of the most highly regarded real estate industry pros are here to help, from attorneys to property management and everything in between. Because our professional home buyers are a part of the Kent real estate market, they have an investors outlook. When you work with THINK3RE, you can be certain we’ll keep you on top of upcoming market trends, local zoning changes, and anything else you need to know to adjust your investment strategy in real-time. At THINK3RE, we can take on as much or as little of the role of the landlord as you like; we make it easy for investors like you to achieve your goals. Call THINK3RE at 253-459-5600.

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