Every landlord and property management company should do a comprehensive review on any tenant who wants to move into a property. There’s a wide range of items that could be used for tenant screening; today we’re talking about what we do here at Realty Solutions. Check your state regulations for any specific requirements. In New Jersey, we’re required to post our process for tenant screening, which is on our website and in a flyer which we send potential tenants before they visit the property. We also have a tenant checklist, which is an 8-point review that describes our screening process.

Tenant Screening 8-Point Review

Our tenant screening process includes looking at the following:
Credit Check
Credit Report
Review Criminal & Patriot Search
Eviction and/or Filings
Income/Employment Verification
Reference Letter
Letter of Intent
Clear Copy of ID
With this 8-point process, it’s a comprehensive way to screen potential tenants. It lowers the risk that we might place an unqualified tenant into a property. Income verification is what we weight the most, including how long the tenant has been at their job. From a mathematical perspective, we want to see a tenant who earns at least three times the rent. That will keep you safe and increase the likelihood that your rent will be paid on time.

Relationship Building

Part of the application or screening process is to enter into a relationship with the tenant, who will hopefully move into your property for a long time. This process helps build rapport; leading to trust and respect which can then be strengthen for the future.

Fairness and Avoiding Discrimination

Having a written tenant screening process also helps you to remain fair and non-discriminatory. As a property management or a landlord, you need to do the same thing each time for every potential new tenant or applicant. This keeps everyone safe and lets people know that you are treating everyone fairly. Publicize your process so everyone can access it; put it in writing and on your website.

Landlords and property managers can adopt whatever types of screening protocols they want. We have been successful with this 8-point screening process. We have noticed that since implementation, our tenants are staying longer, and we have lowered the number of potentially unqualified tenants in our units. If you have any questions about how to screen a tenant or anything pertaining to South Jersey property management, please contact us at Realty Solutions.