One of your most important tasks as a property owner or manager is filling your rental units with reliable, high-quality tenants. Doing so is correlated with more extended lease agreements (and thereby fewer turnovers), as well as potentially fewer issues you have to deal with during a tenant’s residency – thereby raising the unit’s NOI. These could include managing a tenant’s ability (or inability) to pay rent on time and encountering problems with a tenant not taking good care of the property while living there.

On the whole, our data suggest that the better the tenant’s application, the fewer problems there will be for the property owner. So what should you be looking for when screening a tenant’s application in Franklin County?

What to Watch for When Screening a Tenant’s Application

To be successful with your real estate investment, you must successfully fill your rental units with paying tenants, but not just any applicant will do. Here are some red flags to look for during the application process.

  • Tenant urgency – If you encounter a prospective resident who is chomping at the bit and ready to move in right away, it’s time to pump the breaks. While it can be tempting to fill your units right away, especially when you have an eager tenant, step one is to pause and slow down. If you notice an applicant waiting until the last minute to move into a new property or is suddenly in a rush, it may make you wonder if they are being evicted or if there is something else amiss with the situation. No matter the tenant, it’s important to still follow your normal processes and procedures. Just because they are ready to go does not mean you should make exceptions to your tenant screening and application processes.
  • Issues in their application – You should follow an objective screening process for all applicants to ensure fairness and compliance with state and federal fair housing regulations. The five main areas to evaluate include:
    • Credit history
    • Criminal history
    • Eviction history
    • Rental history
    • Income

If problems arise in any of these areas, take heed. It may mean this resident is not one you want to extend a lease offer to.

For us at RL Property Management, we believe sticking to a set of minimum standards and never deviating or making exceptions is a fair and accurate way of approving potential tenants for a unit. In doing so, it also helps ensure that we are abiding by local and federal housing regulations.

If you have questions or need help managing your rental properties in the greater Columbus area, please get in touch with us at RL Property Management anytime.