Tenant Background Checks 101: A Guide for First-Time Landlords in Cleveland, Ohio

Tenant Background Checks 101: A Guide for First-Time Landlords in Cleveland, Ohio

Anyone interested in property management hears of stories about terrible tenants. These stories are the bane of any owner, but the fear of bad tenants can be overwhelming for a first-time landlord.

This is why doing a tenant background check is a vital step to protect yourself and your business. You'll have a better chance to find the right tenants for your first renters.

Listed below are the key ideas to keep in mind as you begin your tenant interaction journey!

Understand the Laws

Before finding tenants, you need to know the laws behind the entire screening process. Are you allowed to do screening at all? What privacy laws are there for tenants?

It's also important to know what factors for which you can and cannot decline a tenant. Knowing the details of Fair Housing, for example, will help you navigate through protections against discrimination.

Knowing these laws and guidelines will ensure you always are doing the right thing in the right way.

Create an Application

Once you know the kinds of things to keep in mind, it's time to create a thorough application for tenants to fill in. Ask general questions about their lifestyle as well as things such as income, employment history, past rentals, and personal references.

Make sure to add a section asking permission to conduct the necessary checks during the screening process. This informs the potential tenant about what to expect while protecting you in case of any legal problems.

Check Income and Credit

After you have the filled application and permission to do the screening, you'll want to start a credit check. Look into the applicant's current income and place of employment. Call in those references to get a better feel for the person who will rent your property.

If you find any discrepancies between the application and your investigation, then you know that the applicant is not as trustworthy as you might want. You can always ask for better clarification, but trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling, it's often best to look for another tenant.

Evaluate Rental History

A person's history with other rental property owners will tell you a lot that goes unseen on an application. Always take the time to contact past landlords and ask questions about your potential tenant.

Ask about how they treated the property, other tenant relations, and their general payment schedule. Since other landlords have the same goals as you, they'll give you valuable insight into the person behind the application.

Professional Tenant Background Check

As a first-time landlord, it's often easier to offload a tenant background check to someone with more experience. Understanding of the process comes with time, but you don't want to start your property business on the wrong foot. It's better to

PMI CLE helps many property owners around the nation and has decades of experience to aid you. We know how to tackle the screening process with integrity and care so that no one feels wronged.

Check out how our tenant screening expertise can help you find success!