We can’t stress enough the importance of securing quality tenants for your rental properties. Not only are good tenants more likely to take care of your unit and treat it with respect, but they also are less likely to leave. And keeping your vacancy rate low is one of the more important ways to increase your real estate portfolio’s net operating income (NOI).

Screening and securing quality tenants, however, takes time and effort. It also must be done in compliance with state and federal fair housing regulations.

At RL Property Management, we’ve developed a set of rental screening criteria that we believe objectively and fairly evaluates potential tenants.

How to Objectively Screen Rental Applications

To strip away any ill-intent or bias during the application process, it’s important to apply a set of objective measures to all applicants. The five main areas we evaluate as part of our rental screening process include:

  1. Credit history
  2. Criminal history
  3. Eviction history
  4. Rental history
  5. Income

These “Big Five” areas tend to be indicative of whether or not an applicant will make a good resident.

As we screen for these areas, we do so by following a double-blind process.

First, we strip out names and any personally identifying information from our decision-making process.

Our leasing agent does this by inputting data such as the person’s credit score, income, criminal history and 20 or so other data points into a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is then separately evaluated by the director of property management who grades the spreadsheet against our rubric of minimum criteria.

The final decision about extending an offer to sign the lease is based on the data alone, as the spreadsheet contains no photos or other personally identifying information.

For us at RL Property Management, we believe sticking to this 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 our team.