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Langee Realty Inc. (813) 232-2400

Serving Tampa bay area of Florida since 1996.

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Finding the Perfect Tennant with Tenant Screening

If you are the owner of a rental or investment property, finding a good tenant is crucial to your success. A tenant that has an adequate income, a history of paying rent in full and on time, a stable work history and who has maintained and respected their previous rental properties will maximize the return on your investment.

A bad tenant who does not pay rent, damages your property or disrespects any neighbors can lead to a costly and lengthy eviction process further down the line. Preventing this from happening can be achieved by fully screening any potential tenants before the lease is signed.

In a bid to save money, many landlords do not screen their tenants or only scratch the surface of a potential tenantís history. This is a false economy and has led to many costly evictions for landlords.

Hiring a property management company to provide you with tenant screening services can save you both time and money. If you would like to screen your tenants on your own, here are some of the key questions to ask your applicants.

Why Are You Moving?

This question can tell you a lot about a potential tenant and their lifestyle. Legitimate reasons for moving could be because they are changing jobs and want to live closer to the workplace or are looking for more room. Reasons like being evicted from their previous property or having a bad relationship and getting into arguments with their previous landlord should set off alarm bells.

When Do You Want To Move In?

This may seem like a standard question, but it can also tell you a lot about the tenant. If they want to move in the next day, thereís a chance they are not the most responsible person. If they were previously renting, most landlords require a notice to terminate the lease. If they want to move in straight away, it could suggest they have abandoned their previous property.

There are many legitimate reasons a person could want to move in straight away, but in general, a good responsible tenant will start their search for a new property at least a month in advance of their expected move-in date.

What Is Your Monthly Income?

The amount a tenant earns will tell you if they are likely to be able to afford the rent or not. It is good practice for a tenant to be earning at least three times the cost of the rent. For example, if your rent is $1000 per month, a good tenant would be earning at least $2500 per month.

How much a tenant earns does not tell you the whole picture though. On the surface, a tenant could seem to have plenty of income, but if they also have a large monthly debt burden, this would decrease their ability to pay you in full and on time.

Do You Have A Security Deposit and Rent Available Upon Move-In?

This question will reveal a lot about the tenantís financial situation. A tenant who can afford to pay a security deposit and the first monthís rent outright is likely to be responsible with future payments.

Although it can be tempting to accept installments for the deposit, it is never good to start a landlord-tenant relationship in debt from the start, so you could carefully consider signing a lease with anyone who cannot afford to pay a security deposit outright.

Have You Got Employer and Landlord References?

If a tenant hesitates or makes excuses as to why they cannot provide you with employer or previous landlord references, they may have something to hide from you.

Employer references will help you verify that the tenant has a stable and long term income and previous landlord references will provide you with a picture of how the tenant behaved in previous properties. It is best to obtain these references yourself rather than accepting documents directly from the tenant to prevent forgeries.

Do You Consent To a Credit and Background Check?

Requiring potential tenants to agree to a credit and background check before signing the lease is a good way to ensure you only get good tenants. A potential tenant with a history of crime or evictions is unlikely to consent to your searches and you can immediately rule them out as a good tenant.

Have You Ever Been Evicted?

Although the tenant may not tell the truth when asked this question, it is still worth asking. Asking this question can give the potential tenant an opportunity to explain their situation.

Sometimes people can fall into hard times but pull themselves back out of it again. Being previously evicted does not necessarily mean they wouldnít be a great tenant now, however if the eviction was for bad behavior or excessive noise, these behaviors are likely to continue in your property.

How Many People Will Live In The Property?

You will want to make sure the tenant has a reasonable amount of people living in the property. Too many people living in a property can lead to excessive wear and tear which will cost you money and many fire departments limit the amount of people that can live in a rental property depending on its size.

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Screening Your Tenants

If you are a new landlord, you may find the process of screening new tenants to be intimidating and time consuming. In this case, it might be best to hire a professional property management company to provide you with tenant screening services.

A good property management company will have lots of experience screening tenants and will know all the right questions to ask, the correct checks to be carried out and will be on the lookout for warning signs.

By using the tenant screening services of a professional property management company, you will be able to sit back and enjoy the return on your property investment while knowing that your property is occupied by a good tenant that will respect and care for your property and pay rent on time.

We can provide professional tenant screening services in the Tampa, Florida area.

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Langee Realty Inc. (813) 232-2400

3125 W Hillsborough Ave Tampa FL 33614

We are open Monday to Friday 10:00 to 6:00

Serving Tampa Bay Area since 1996

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