5 Easy Tenant Screening Steps
The vast majority of tenant problems in Florida condos or HOA communities can be eliminated by properly screening your tenants. Unfortunately, many landlords and property owners don’t give the tenant screening process the attention it deserves. Instead, the focus on filling vacancies as quickly as possible with minimal screening.
While filling vacancies is always a primary concern, you should be more focused on filling them with properly qualified tenants. Tenant screening doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can weed out bad tenants in five easy steps.
Step #1: First Contact
This is the step in which the prospective tenant contacts you to request additional information about the property or the lease. Take this opportunity to ask a few pre-screening questions to ensure that the tenant isn’t wasting your time.
Step #2: Property Showing
Once the prospective tenant has passed the first step, it’s time to meet them face-to-face for the first time and show your property. Watch out for red flags, like lateness, complaining about the property, etc.
Step #3: Application
If the prospective tenant is still interested, and you’re interested in renting to them, have them fill out a rental application. Make sure the application includes references from employers and previous landlords. Also, run a background check and credit check.
Step #4: Approval
If the application checks out and your prospect seems like a good tenant, accept him or her, and decline all other applicants. Once you’ve approved the prospective tenant, you still aren’t done with screening.
Step #5: Lease Signing
Signing the lease is the final step in the rental and screening process. Take the time to go over the lease carefully, thoroughly explaining all rules and paying attention to the tenant’s responses. Have them agree in writing to abide by all rules of the Homeowners or Condominium Association because ultimately, you will be responsible for their compliance. The Association could levy fines against you if they choose to not comply with the Association rules so you want to make sure you have teeth in your lease to pass those fines or fees on to your tenant if necessary. Answer any questions, and take note if the tenant seems disinterested in understanding the rules or if he or she scoffs at any of your policies. Until the lease is signed, it’s not too late to back out.
Screen Tenants the Right Way
Screening tenants is a time-consuming but very important process. Doing so is the best way to limit future problems. At AMI, we can help your Associations coordinate the application process and make suggestions to your owners to screen tenants the right way. We have decades of Florida condo management experience that can help your Associations to streamline and expedite this process. To learn more about our application/tenant screening process, please contact us today.
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