Retaining your renters over the long term leads to earning a stable income. You might think that renewing a tenant’s lease should not entail a process. After all, you want to keep them longer with as little fuss as possible, right?

However, you need to create a proper process rather than offering a renewal straight away. You may have conflicts long ignored or unpaid repair fees. Performing a renewal screening can keep you from dealing with future disputes. 

There may be an initial backlash when you run a renewal screening, as some renters may question the need for it or feel that they’re not trusted. However, you are protecting your business by being cautious, and the renewal will not be as in-depth as the initial tenant screening.

This article will provide landlords with the advantages that renewal screening checks bring.

How Renewal Screenings Benefit Landlords

You might think to skip performing a renewal screening check when you look back and see that your renter consistently paid their rental dues. Your rental unit appears well-maintained, free from damage, and there were no issues with the renters, so why should you need to screen them?

However, renewal checks should always be done to ensure your investment is safe. It is best to practice objectivity, as the past tenant’s history does not necessarily dictate how the future will unfold.

Even with the knowledge that your tenant is responsible with your property, you can still enjoy peace of mind when you review the essentials.

Two people at a coffee shop doing an interview.

Screenings Lead To Cost Savings

If you find out that certain renters have huge debts and defaulted on their loans, you will naturally want to steer clear of them to protect your income. Evictions can consume a lot of time since you need to file a court case and follow specific legal processes. Learning the updated financial situation of a renter before lease renewal can save you a lot of trouble.

 

Screenings Offer A Way To Inspect How Residents Are Faring

If you and your tenant don’t have regular communication, a renewal screening check can help you touch base and find out about their tenancy experience. You can ask them how you can improve your services to make them more comfortable.

Screenings Result In Peace Of Mind

Although running a renewal screening check means allocating some time, it is crucial to gain updated information about your tenant.

What Should You Screen For?

Renewal screening checks are not as intensive as the first tenant screening. You will only need to get ahold of critical information to make a proper evaluation before offering a tenant renewal.

A person writing in a notebook

Here is some crucial information that is worth updating:

  • Credit score: Ask your renter for a recent credit report to assess the risks of extending their tenancy. As credit scores are always changing, you will need to know if they continue to meet your criteria.
  • Income: A W2 statement should be submitted by your renter so you can check their current income. No matter how much money they earned in the past, the important thing is their current income. You don’t want to learn later on that your renter has quit their job and won’t be able to pay the rent.
  • Court history and criminal background checks: While you likely will have no reason to think that your renters don’t have clean criminal records, it is your responsibility to do a proper check to ensure the safety of everyone. 

After reviewing this checklist, you should still consider a few more factors. Be honest inwardly and ask the following questions:

  • Would you describe your experience with the tenant as overall positive? 
  • Were there times that the renter was unable to pay the rent?
  • Did you receive any noise complaints throughout the tenancy?
  • Did the renter cause damage to the property?

How did the renter resolve the situations above, if any are applicable? Did they take responsibility when you brought it to their attention? If yes, it should still be safe to offer them a lease renewal.

Two people shaking hands over a table.

Make the Renewal Screening Process Smooth

To prevent renters from feeling frustrated, landlords should be transparent by informing the renters that a renewal screening process will be conducted before extending a lease. They will then know what to expect in advance.

Read About FHA Guidelines

Similar to the initial screening check, landlords must also comply with the Fair Housing Act (FHA) when doing a round of renewal screening. This helps limit complaints of discrimination.

Hiring a Property Manager

Landlords may want to engage the services of a reliable property management company to reduce their tasks. Having professionals run a renewal screening check gives you peace of mind knowing that the best industry practices are followed.

Are you looking for experts to perform strategic marketing, comprehensive tenant screening, timely rent collection, meticulous property inspections, and complete renewal screening checks for you? If yes, contact Keyrenter Denver today!