Must Dos when screening a tenant .

8 Replies

I’m focusing on how to lessen the likelihood that I get a bad tenant .

What tips and tricks. Dos & donts have helped you screen tenant. Especially as an outta state investor

Hi Cody, here are our rental requirements, we use AmRent screening software.

Michigan: We are looking for 600 min credit score, 3x income, no evictions, no bankruptcy within 5 years, 3x income, limited criminal/collection accounts, and a good rental reference. If you have a 0 credit score and/or no rental history we will likely require a cosigner. If you credit score is slightly below 600 but you are much stronger in other areas, most importantly rental history, we may still approve you. We reserve the right to make exceptions and we reserve the right to not approve you if you meet these requirements due to other factors discovered in the evaluation process.

Toledo: We are looking for 525 min credit score, 3x income, no evictions, no bankruptcy within 5 years, 3x income, limited criminal/collection accounts. If you have a 0 credit score and/or no rental history we will likely require a cosigner or a 1.5 month security deposit. If you credit score is slightly below 525 but you are much stronger in other areas, most importantly rental history, we may still approve you with a cosigner and/or 1.5 month security deposit. We reserve the right to make exceptions and we reserve the right to not approve you if you meet these requirements due to other factors discovered in the evaluation process.

@Cody Wray

Google all phone numbers given. Work, personal, cell etc. Advance to page 3 of google for each. Google all names given, page 3. Repeat on Facebook. Repeat with common full versions of names and common formats of numbers, example "Bob" = Robert. 123-45 = (123) 456- etc etc. Credit checks for all adults over 18. Exception: students. Parent/ guardian Co-signer for all students. Credit check the parent co-signer. Check gov issued ID. Call work, structure to your Q's appropriately to stay on side of laws while finding inconsistencies, provide some incorrect info and see if it is corrected is one technique that often works well for both employer and landlord refs. Call landlord ref. Google the former addresses, are they as described & residential? Repeat all screening for whatever common social media is the trend these days. Court record search often turns up things you'll want to know about.

Hey Cody,

In addition to the above replies, I recommend using Cozy to screen your tenants. It's a free service, and you can easily have your tenants apply online through their portal. You can also have your applicants complete background and credit checks through their system. Cozy also allows you to advertise your rental, which automatically syndicates to several listing websites. There's a lot of perks.

Here are some more screening questions that you can ask.

1. Are you currently renting? (How much are you paying there?)

2. How long have you lived there?

3. What's the main reason you are moving from where you are staying now? 

4. Approximately how much income do you receive every month or every two weeks?

5. How many total people will be occupying the property(anybody else part time)?

6. Do you own any pets/animals? Explain.

7. Can you tell me a little about where you work?

8. How soon will you want to move in once you find something you like?

9. Are you prepared to fill out a background & credit check at this time?

10. Do you have funds available for security deposit and 1st month's rent?