Property managers in Pflugerville have a responsibility to thoroughly screen potential renters to make sure that they are a safe, good fit for their prospective new neighbors. The tenant screening process varies by property but in general, it will include five very important steps that property managers must take into consideration before signing a lease with any tenant.

Over the course of this brief guide, we’ll cover those five important steps and give a few suggestions on how to make sure you’re signing a lease with what will be a good tenant. First, let’s look at a few things that make for a great tenant. Ideally, the purpose of the tenant screening process exists so that property managers rent to people who will be good tenants.

What makes a good tenant?

Good tenants do a few things that bad tenants either can’t or won’t do. They pay their rent on time, live peaceably with their neighbors, and do not do damage to the property. When they move out, they give the agreed upon notice to landlords within a specific amount of time before moving. The purpose of the screening process is to give property managers a good idea of who will or won’t live up to these agreements.

The Tenant Screening Process in five easy steps

We’ll go over five ways a property management company in Pflugerville should conduct a screening of a potential tenant. Each of these steps gives managers assurance that a tenant will live up to their end of the landlord/tenant agreement.

Making Contact

Tenants seek out potential rental properties by looking through newspaper ads, Internet apartment search sites, and word of mouth recommendations. However they find your property, remember that making the first contact with a tenant can give you a first glance at their potential as a good candidate for renting your property. Speak with them openly and honestly. Answer questions. Most importantly, ask questions. If you have strict rules on income, make sure they are aware of this. If you have pet policies, inquire about pets.

Usually, the conversation will flow naturally and you can both get a good sense of whether there’s a potential landlord/tenant match. You can rule out some tenants just by telling them income and pet policies, as well as property rules that might conflict with their lifestyle. If everything goes well and a tenant seems like a good fit, then a showing will be arranged.

Showing the property

The second step in the tenant screening process is the viewing of the property. Tenants will get to see firsthand if the property is a place they would enjoy living. They’ll get to see any imperfections in the apartment or house and make decisions about whether they’re willing to live with those. They can ask questions about potential changes before moving in so that anything they find unacceptable might be corrected before the move-in date.

Likewise, property managers get to meet the people who will be paying rent to them each month. If everything goes well, then an application can be handed out and the tenant can take concrete steps to rent the property.

Application review

Every property manager has different expectations of tenants. Some will not require a background check but remember: A background check is a good idea in this day and age. You’ll be able to learn about a potential tenant’s criminal history, credit history, and screen for income requirements that some tenants might be able to lie about.

Background checks and requiring proof of income are positive steps to finding a good tenant. If their credit history is satisfactory, their income is consistent with what they would need to make timely rent payments, and they don’t have a criminal history, then you’ve increased your chances of renting to someone who will meet all of your rental requirements.

Approving a renter

It’s a pleasure to find a potential renter who meets all expectations or to find a renter who has turned over a new chapter in life and is now what you would consider a good prospect to rent. Even if during the screening process you find a few marks on a credit record, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a prospective tenant won’t make a great renter today. Many property managers look at the timing of the credit imperfections. If they were many years ago, it’s possible that the tenant’s circumstances have changed.

After reviewing the application, you’ll have the chance to clarify anything you’ve found during the application process. If they seem like they won’t make a good renter, you can politely tell them this and wish them well in their continued search. If they’re a good fit for your property, you can share the happy news that you’ve approved them to rent your property and make arrangements to sign the lease. Lease signing day is always a happy one.

Signing the lease

The final step in the tenant screening process is to sign the lease with them. This is usually done on the property and after you’ve both gone over everything, signed the lease, and answered any questions, you’ll give them the key to the property and happily welcomed a new tenant to their home. This is very rewarding both for tenants and landlords, both of whom rely on each other to make things on the property pleasant for everyone involved.

The tenant screening process can include additional steps and not all property managers do these things in this exact order. Some property managers are less picky than others and don’t do background checks or criminal history checks. No matter what vetting process you have to select tenants, remember that the goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on the property. Rent to people who will pay on time, get along with neighbors, and respect the property you’ve worked so hard to manage during your career. Respect of the tenant/landlord arrangement is central to success.