Pre-screening process

2 Replies

Im a new landlord and I am trying to define my tenant screening process. BP has some good resources for this however one area I am not clear on is when in the process to conduct a credit check and background check. 

Currently, we ask tenants to apply using an online resource and at that point they are asked to provide a credit report (its a soft pull, they elect to share it with me the landlord). Im curious if I should move this check to after showing the prospective tenant the apartment? 

I've had some people who seem perfectly okay with this setup and some who are unwilling to pay for a report before seeing the property. I can see both sides, but I would like some way of limiting who I show the unit to.


After seeing the apartment and only if they are interested.

I agree with @Max Tanenbaum  

Think about what you would be comfortable with.  Would you pay an application fee and let someone pull your credit report before you even saw a unit?

The best way to minimize showings, is to put your criteria in your ad, and your phone number (or a Google number that forwards to your phone).  Then, when they call you, go over all of your criteria again, asking if they believe they would qualify, and did they know they had to pay an application fee for each adult? If yes to everything, then make an appointment to show it.

Another thing I did, was I let the calls go to voicemail.  I wanted to hear what was going on in the background, etc.  Did they sound drunk? Were there people yelling obscenities in the background?  Were they screaming at their kids?  If so, I just didn't call those people back.

And anyone who was 15 minutes late or more to a showing, I denied.

Those are some of the things I learned to do anyway.

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