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5 Common Tenant Screening Errors and How to Avoid Them

System - Thursday, December 8, 2022
Property Management Blog

In Florida, an uncontested residential eviction can take between 4 and 5 weeks. Contested evictions can take even longer than that. 

To some, a month may not seem like a long time. But when you have a tenant that's not paying their rent and a property that you still need to pay to maintain, it can get expensive fast.

One of the most effective things you can do to reduce the risk of this happening to you is to perfect your tenant screening process. This can help you avoid tenant screening errors, and ensure only the most reliable tenants.

In this post, we'll go over some of the most common tenant screening errors and what you can do to avoid making them.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Not Verifying Information

While most people will be honest on their rental application form, there will be some that try and lie to make themselves seem like a better option.

To avoid being lied to you'll need to verify the information provided on the application. This includes actually calling and checking with their references, requiring proof of income, and running the appropriate background checks.

2. Not Doing Background Checks

While running a credit check is certainly important and can give you a good idea of how financially responsible a potential tenant is, you should also consider running a criminal record check. This check will look further and can tell you if they've ever been convicted of a crime or if they've been evicted from a former rental.

With that said, make sure you're familiar with HUD guidelines which warn against having a blanket policy against anyone with a criminal record. It's best to evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis.

3. Inconsistency

If you don't have a set application process and tenant screening checklist you may wind up missing red flags on potential tenants' applications.

Inconsistency with your application process not only makes it more likely you'll wind up with more difficult tenants but can also be a legal liability for you. Setting different requirements for different applicants can lead to accusations of discrimination, even if that isn't your intention.

4. Trying to Do Everything Yourself

If you are an owner/ operator of a rental portfolio, you may be able to do everything for a while. But, as you continue to grow, you will eventually reach a point where it is no longer sustainable to do all of the work yourself.

Consider outsourcing some of the work by hiring a company to handle the processes you like the least, or instead hire a full-service property management company.

5. Skipping the Screening Process Altogether

It can be nerve-wracking to have a rental sitting empty while you search for the right tenant. But, it's so important that you take your time and go through the proper screening process. No good gut feeling about an applicant can replace solid evidence of their suitability.

Don't Make These Tenant Screening Errors

Avoid making these tenant screening errors and ensure that you rent to only the most reliable tenants. This will help you avoid high-maintenance tenants, and worse: costly, drawn-out eviction processes.

If you're in the Miami area and are ready to outsource some or all of your work, we can help! Contact us to get your free rental analysis today.