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Invest Pro Properties Inc.

Tenant Screening and Rental Application Tips for Landlords in Tampa/St. Petersburg

One of the most important steps in screening tenants is to establish a list of minimum requirements for acceptance. Today we’re sharing some screening tips that can help you ensure you’re getting the best possible tenant in your property.

Income Qualifications

Good property managers will require a tenant earns at least three times the monthly rental rate in verifiable income. Tenants rarely know how much they can actually afford, so setting that minimum income guideline ensures you won’t get tenants that are over extending themselves.

Landlord References

Collect landlord references and call those current and former landlords to find out what kind of tenant your applicant is. Look for a prior rental history that has no evictions. Make sure the landlord reference you get is actually the person who owns the property. You can check county records to verify this. We have had instances where a glowing reference came from a friend who was pretending to be a former landlord. Taking this extra step will help you avoid major headaches.

Background Information

Conduct a background check and look for good credit as well as a clean criminal history. You don’t want anyone in your property with a drug problem or a history of illegal behavior. Make sure any occupants over the age of 18 fill out an application. Even young adults still dependent on their parents should have their credit and background checked out.

Application Questions

There are a series of must-ask questions that should be included in the application. Always collect the necessary personal information, including the applicant’s name, date of Tenant Screening and Rental Application Tips for Landlords in Tampa/St. Petersburgbirth, social security number, current address, employer information and the names of past landlords. Ask if the tenants were ever evicted and make sure you get a release of personal information signature. It’s important to be compliant with all federal fair housing laws. If you’re not familiar with those regulations, get knowledgeable right away.

If you have any questions about tenant screening, please contact us at InvestPro Properties and speak to one of our rental property experts.