Before leasing out your property to an individual or organization, it is important to ask a number of questions and to request for certain information that will guide your decision and help you get acquainted with prospective tenants. This is usually done as part of a tenant screening application process.
Tenant screening is an integral part of the leasing process and it often determines whether an individual or organization will be granted or denied tenancy. It is important for both property owners and proposed tenants to understand what a tenant screening application is how to go about it.
A tenant screening application is an evaluation process employed by property owners and real estate managers to assess prospective tenants before leasing out a property. It usually involves asking for information such as bio-data, employee details, criminal and eviction history plus other relevant documents.
In many cases, property owners depend on tenant screening companies to carry out a tenant screening application. Tenant screening companies are regulated customer reporting agencies or investigative consumer reporting agencies that can carry out a professional evaluation on prospective tenants for a fee.
After carrying out a tenancy screening application, the screening company is required to compile a tenancy screening report which typically highlights all the information gathered during the screening process. This report is then presented to the landlord to help him or her make a decision with regard to the tenant's request.
The following pieces of information must be included in a tenant screening application:
This can also be referred to as the bio-data section in the tenant screening application form. It caters to the personal information of the proposed tenant including his or her age, state of origin and geographical location.
The details provided here will help the owner of the property to accurately profile his or her client and this will aid familiarisation between both parties.
This refers to the residential information of the proposed tenant. Here, the owner of the property requires the leasee to provide a list of all the places he or she has lived in up to the present moment.
With the address history of the tenant-to-be, the landlord or real estate agent can find out more information about the individual in terms of his or her behavior from the property owners of the listed locations.
The proposed tenant is also required to provide his or her ID Number and Social Security Number. Both of these confirm that such an individual is legally permitted to live and work in the United States.
A tenant screening application also collects information on the number of occupants for the property in question. This is important because, in the US, some houses cannot be occupied by more than a particular number of persons.
For instance, there are houses that are best suited for families and there are also houses that are best suited for single occupants. If a property owner exceeds the stipulated number of occupants for his or her building, there could be legal implications.
The prospective tenant is also expected to provide information on his or her employment history. This information is important because it helps the property owner determine if the individual in question can meet up with the financial obligations of the property.
Just as in a job application, the prospective tenant should provide one or more references as part of the tenant screening application. These references stand as sureties or guarantors and should be individuals who have a one-on-one relationship with the tenant to-be.
The ideal tenant is someone who satisfies the following criteria:
What is your monthly income?
Typically, the ideal tenant earns 3 times his or her rent. This question helps you determine if the tenant can meet up with the financial demands of the property.
This question is important because you need to be sure that the tenant has a constant stream of income to cater for the rent.
This question gives a background of the employment history of the prospective client.
This question enables you to accurately profile the individual in question.
You need to know if the prospective tenant would be living alone or cohabitating with people. You need to be sure that you adhere to local rental laws in your country and only rent out your property to the maximum allowable occupants.
This is a follow-up question to the previous one. If the prospective tenant plans to cohabitate with other persons, you need to know how many persons are involved.
This question helps you to ascertain the level of financial buoyancy of the prospective tenant. Chances are if the tenant has recently filed for bankruptcy, he or she may not be able to meet up with the financial obligation of the property.
If the response to this is positive, it may be a red flag and you may have to disregard the tenant in question.
This will help you make adequate provision for the tenant. Also, it would help you determine if your property is appropriate for the prospective tenant.
Some residential properties are not appropriate for individuals who are married and intend to start a family. Hence, it is important for you to request information on the marital status of the proposed tenant.
This would also help you decide if the individual can meet up with the necessary financial obligations.
Some tenants may be moving out in order to avoid meeting up with outstanding obligations. Try to find out if they have already informed their landlords about their plans to move out.
This question would help you make adequate parking space arrangements for the proposed tenant.
670 is widely considered as a good credit score for a working-class neighborhood rental. A good credit score is an indicator that the tenant can meet up with the financial demands of your property.
Late rent payment can be an indicator that the individual may not be able to meet up with the payments for your property, especially when this is constant. However, one-off situations may not be taken too seriously and should not affect your decision to lease out your property to an individual.
Employment continuity is also an important factor. Your rental application and tenant screening questions should ask applicants to provide at least a few years of employment history. Employment gaps should not be a problem unless they are constant.
This question helps to discover the reason your prospective tenant is changing residences. You may reject his or her rental application if the answer provided is suspicious.
Even if the prospective tenant did not list his or her present employer in the reference section, you can still ask to speak with the employer.
It is best if you can have a fair idea of the persons who will be staying over at your property, frequently.
If you have a no-pets policy simply inform the prospective tenant and ask if this will be a problem.
Even if you do not have a no-pets policy, it is important for you to find out the type, weight, and breed of the pet the tenant has.
This question is necessary because it enables the property owner to make adequate provisions to cater for this.
Many property owners do not allow smoking within the property because of fire risks and other hazards that can result from this habit. Often times, they may refuse to rent out their properties to an individual who cohabitates with people who smoke.
It is also necessary to obtain the criminal records, if any, of your prospective tenant. This will guide you in making a decision.
A background check is a process of verifying the information provided by a prospective tenant before approving his or her rental application. When carrying out a tenant screening application, it is important to verify the following information:
A background check also reveals the rental history of the prospective client. With this, the property owner would gather information about the number of rentals the prospective tenant has been involved with, the duration of these rentals plus other necessary details.
Knowing a tenant's rental history goes a long way in informing the lease decision of the landlord.
A good credit score is a strong indicator that the tenant would be able to meet up with all the financial obligations related to your property.
An eviction check is an important step that must be taken before you agree to rent out your property to any individual. In many cases, a previous eviction is an indicator that the tenant is not responsible and could be a source of problems in the future.
It is important to have information about a tenant's criminal records before leasing your property to him or her. Felony is a serious crime that attracts a jail term of at least 1 year.
An individual who has been convicted for a felony can be violent and this is why you must take this information seriously.
A tenant screening application also helps you to identify the most stable prospective tenants with whom you can enter into a rewarding rental relationship. These are usually individuals who have no criminal record, who can afford the rent, who are gainfully employed and have no criminal record.
You can easily create your online tenant screening application form in the Formplus builder by dragging and dropping preferred fields into your form. To access the Formplus builder, you will need to create an account on Formplus.
Once you do this, sign in to your account and click on "Create Form " to begin.
Click on the field provided to input your form title, for example, " Tenant Screening Application Form".
With Formplus, you can add unique features to your online tenancy agreement form. You can also personalize your screening application form with various customization options available in the builder.
Formplus allows you to add preferred background images, your organization's logo, and other features to your tenant screening application form. You can also change the display theme of your form.
Formplus offers multiple form sharing options which enables you to easily share your tenant screening application form with prospective tenants. With the direct social media sharing buttons, you can easily share your form link to your social media pages.
Formplus also enables you to send out your tenant screening application form as an email invitation. Your online tenant screening application form has a unique QR code that you can embed on your website so that proposed tenants can simply scan to fill.
Use this rental application form to swiftly collect and process rental requests for your properties. With the Formplus rental application form, you can collect a variety of information from prospective tenants and, you can even collect payments and signatures directly in your form.
Are you planning to share your lodge or apartment with a roommate? Use the Formplus roommate agreement form to facilitate the arrangements between you and your new roommate and prevent any disagreements or disputes in the future.
This roommate agreement form clearly spells out the terms and conditions for the cohabitation including the responsibilities of all parties involved.
With a tenant screening application, you are sure to gather useful information that can help you make the best decision when it comes to leasing out your residential property. When carrying out a tenant screening application, ensure that you ask the right questions and request the most relevant documents.
As a property owner, you can hire a tenant screening company to help you carry out a tenant screening application and provide a report, thereafter. In addition, you can also conduct a tenant screening application online using Formplus.
Formplus is a data-gathering platform that allows you to easily create and share online forms like tenant screening application forms. In the Formplus builder, you can add different form fields to your screening application form using the drag and drop feature.
There are also different tenant screening application form templates available on Formplus including roommate agreement form and rental application form templates.
Sign up on Formplus to create your own tenant screening application form or edit any of the templates to suit your needs.
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