After performing successful marketing and lining up candidates for your Denver rental property, you can now turn your attention to tenant screening. Ensuring that you welcome the right tenant is important to limit dealing with property damage, avoid tenant turnover, and minimize financial loss from unpaid rent.

Identifying Quality Tenants

Conducting tenant screening helps you find a suitable resident for your Denver rental home and eliminate problematic tenants. Quality tenants can help ensure consistent rent payments and help maintain your property. You should already know what to look for before starting the screening process. 

Check if a prospective renter has the following characteristics:

  1. Can afford to pay the rent.
  2. Employed in a reliable job.
  3. Shows a responsible rental history.
  4. Displays a responsible attitude.

How to Screen Tenants Effectively 

To make sure that your tenant screening procedure is effective, you should already be aware of your minimum criteria. What do you expect from the renters in your Denver rental unit? Once you know, you can formulate a screening process that helps you in your tenant selection procedure. 

Conducting Pre-screening 

When you pre-screen potential tenants, you protect your time from going to waste. To achieve this, create a listing that provides specific details. For example, list down if you’re open to tenants with pets or if you require the utility bills to be shouldered by the renters.

tenant screening interview

When you speak with prospective renters, you can ask plenty of questions that can help you evaluate whether they’re the right fit. It’s why you should engage with the potential occupant during a property showing. You can find out a lot of details, such as what they really prefer in a rental property.

Doing pre-screening prompts you if there will be potential issues later on. Conducting extensive screening also further allows unqualified renters to quit immediately which is an advantage for you. You can instead dedicate your time on the ones who are a good fit for your Denver, CO rental property.

Reviewing the Application 

Your rental application form should obtain the following information:

  • Contact information of the applicant.
  • Present address and the landlord’s name and contact info.
  • Former living arrangement history with the landlords’ names and contact info.
  • Current and prior employers, job title, salary and period of employment, including contact references.
  • Authorization for background and credit check.

It’s critical to verify how much the candidates are earning since you can work out if they can meet the rent each month. Normally, landlords require renters to have a minimum pay level that’s three times the rental rate. 

Some prospective renters may not earn triple the rental fee but they have good finances with little to no debt. They may also have a good tenant history and landlords vouching for their reliability so you can consider them as tenants.

person on phone call

Verifying the Residents Income and Employment

It’s vital to verify the income of the tenants since some can omit the truth or exaggerate their pay to be considered as a renter. Some may also write down fake references on their application forms so landlords must verify.

Inquiries to Make to Former Landlords

When you want to know a tenant’s rental history, speak with both the current and previous landlords. The current landlord may withhold negative comments about their tenant to rid themselves of an irresponsible renter. You can find out if the candidate caused property damage, reported for neighborhood disturbance or left without paying their rental dues.

It may also be easy for some candidates to ask their friends and family to pretend to be a landlord when you call to verify. To avoid being deceived, you can inquire about property vacancies first and arrange a property tour.

Refrain from asking directly about the prospective renter. Based on the response, you can figure out if the person on the other end of the line is a real landlord or not.

Evaluating Residents Credit Reports and Background Checks

Credit and background check reveals the following:

  • Complete account history.
  • Credit score.
  • Prior evictions.
  • Criminal history.

Credit scores give you a concrete basis since you can learn if a renter is financially responsible. Review how much outstanding debt a renter has and check if they show an eviction record, since this can negatively impact your income and investment. 

person holding credit card

Accepting or Denying Potential Tenants

After performing the series of steps above, you can now make up your mind if you’ll accept or reject the candidate. If you decide to welcome them to your Denver rental unit, then inform them through a call or email. Guide them towards the next stage of the application which is signing the lease agreement.

If you plan to reject the candidate, put your rejection in writing or email. This is necessary to retain proof. As a landlord, you need to be firm and communicate with the tenants regarding your decision. Providing the reasons for the denial isn’t required. But if the renter seeks out answers, then you can reveal the information. 

Familiarize yourself with the Fair Housing Act so your tenant screening is fair to everyone and prevents discrimination against the protected classes.

Bottom Line

Though performing a detailed tenant screening for your Denver rental unit can require time and dedication, the efforts pay off in the long run. You can minimize future stress, optimize your earnings and plan for rental renovations. 

If you lack the necessary time to do a meticulous tenant screening, you can get in touch with Keyrenter Denver, a trusted property management company providing property owners high-quality property management services. Contact them today!