Screening tenants - Posted by Charley Menendez

Posted by RichV(FL) on April 23, 2006 at 05:56:38:


Oh sure I do…you can screen tenants to death and still get deadbeats that slip through the cracks…its all part of the business.

I knew RE would continue to stay strong in Hawaii.

I’ll drop you an email off the board and let you know what we are up to here.


Screening tenants - Posted by Charley Menendez

Posted by Charley Menendez on April 21, 2006 at 11:47:32:

What is the best way to screen new potential tenants? I am new to being a landlord. Any suggestions would help.

Thank You,


Re: Screening tenants - Posted by RichV(FL)

Posted by RichV(FL) on April 21, 2006 at 18:20:22:


I have had luck with RealChek America, They do credit, criminal, skip trace, etc.

So far so good.

Great Success,


Re: Screening tenants - Posted by speednxs

Posted by speednxs on April 21, 2006 at 16:11:27:

By all means run a credit check. It?s funny how prospective tenants suddenly remember financial problems when you tell them you are running a credit check. I suppose screening companies are good about criminal records, evictions and other stuff. You can google them as well.

If you have one or two expensive Single Family Residences s you will probably want to check them out more extensively than if you have a 40 unit low income apartment complex.

Check references by phone. I try to write down standard questions so I won?t blank out in the interview.
Do they smoke?
Do they have pets? Destructive?
Do they have kids/step kids (not to mention live in boyfriends/girlfriends)? How many? Are they well behaved?
Are you related (unless the application reference says ?brother?)?
Are they financially responsible?
Do they have a stable job situation?
How long did they live in their last rental? The one before?
Would you rent your home to them?
Some people try to get cute and stop by their current rental. ?Gee you, left the license plate number off your application and I just happen to be in the neighborhood. Could I get a glass of water, just lead me to the kitchen.? If the place is a wreck, the solution is obvious. At least take a look at their car.

Sure, their references will lie for them, but they don?t necessarily know the lies the other references are telling.

Talk to the current landlord, but this can be very iffy. If they are the tenants from heck, the landlord will give them glowing marks just to get them out. Try to talk to the landlord before the current one. Remember to ask if the landlord is related to the tenants.
Did they pay the rent on time?
Would you rent to them again?
Did they treat the property respectfully?
Did they get their cleaning deposit back?

Get a photocopy of their drivers license. This should have date of birth. Photocopy their check front and back if they give you a deposit. They are asking you to trust them with an asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. When it comes time to paying for damages/cleaning you?ll be glad you got this up front. I?m sure you?ve always wanted to say ?Vee need zeese information for our files?.

Re: Screening tenants - Posted by dutch

Posted by dutch on April 21, 2006 at 13:47:16:

If you have a local tenant screening company, use them. Most of the big national companies are running the small guys out of business, but you get better service and better info from the local guys, if you have one. Check your yellow pages.


Re: Screening tenants - Posted by John

Posted by John on April 21, 2006 at 12:07:10:

I use National Tennant Network they are very good at screening. ntnnet dot com

Re: Screening tenants - Posted by Wayne-NC

Posted by Wayne-NC on April 22, 2006 at 13:57:17:

Yet you still have evictions. Just referring to the 16 day one. Well, just got back from 2 weeks in Hawaii and now getting ready to see you in Atlanta. I will also be heading to Florida that Suunday night for a couple of days. See you there too? Real estate just keeps going up on Kauai. Timeshare was really the way to go.

Re: Screening tenants - Posted by Chris in FL

Posted by Chris in FL on April 27, 2006 at 13:15:29:

Speed said “some people (property mgrs.) try to get cute and stop by their (applicant’s) current rental”. Nothing ‘cute’ about it - it works! You check out the place they live now, and that is what your place will look like in 1 year. If they take good care of it, they generally take care of paying, etc. as well (I know from experience). Personally, I check the application first, and if the application turned out good, then I take a form with me that allows a more extensive background check, and, if the place looks great, I say “awww, heck with the additional background checks, I can tell you are what I am looking for in a tenant”. Then I pull out my hidden lease, which, obviously, if the place looks like crap, stays hidden. Alternative: “you are what I am looking for in a tenant - let me go check and see if I have a blank lease in the car (oh, lucky days, I do!)”. The only time this method ever failed me was when one applicant/tenant was smart enough to use an address other than their own (her Mom’s, whose place looked great)… I had called to let them know I was coming, so they were able to switch-a-roo, but, had I just dropped by like I usually do, I probably would have uncovered the scheme! I got lazy on just one step, and it cost me plenty of headaches, too!
Best wishes!