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Screening Tenants Matters

Screening Tenants Matters

Screening Tenants Protects Your Orlando Rental Property

Landlord inspecting house

Inspecting investment property

Screening tenants keeps residents in your property. It is critical that you quickly fill your vacancy in your Orlando rental property. A vacant property drains cash in the form of lost rent. In the meantime, overhead costs that are otherwise passed on to your tenant, accrue. Landlords feel this pain when their mortgage payment is due, and there is no rent payment to cover it. The pain of digging into your savings to make a mortgage payment on your investment property is unforgettable. Many do-it-yourself (DIY) landlords try to fix their cash flow problem by placing the first applicant that comes along.  However,  screening tenants applications properly is critical.

But, what is the true cost of this action?  Maybe this is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Placing a non-qualified tenant can cause you more time and headaches if the rent is not paid and you still have to pay the mortgage.  Because the property is occupied, a paying resident cannot be placed until you evict the current tenant. In addition, there may be property damage caused by a poor resident placement that delays you even further. So why aren’t landlords screening tenants? Surprising, a survey of landlords by Boston based research firm Liminality Inc. found that only:

  • 44% of DIY landlords conduct sex offender checks;
  • 51% of DIY landlords conduct criminal background checks;
  • 23% of DIY landlords sometimes or never conduct credit checks; and
  • 51% of DIY landlords contact past landlords for references.

However, proper screening might mean that there are a few more days of vacancy. Therefore, the cost of effective vetting far outweighs the cost of a unqualified tenant in your rental property.

A Few Screening Tenants Examples

Calculation Cash Flows

Calculating Cash Flow

Here are a few examples of Real Property Management Freedom screening process places qualified residents:

  • The previous landlord reported that the applicant had started multiple fires at the property;
  • A Florida criminal check revealed an applicant with multiple drug related convictions; and
  • An applicant had a lots of cash, but no evidence of income or the source of the cash.

Without a screening process and a set of standards, most landlords will rent to them. Each applicant had money. One even showed us, “Here, I will give you this if you let me move in.”

Therefore, Do-it-yourself landlords receive a higher number of unqualified applicants looking at their properties. Why do you think this is true? Sometimes we receive calls that ask if we will accept someone that is felon. Of course, today the rules are changing, and the answer might now be that depends. The tenant community knows that professional managers have stricter screening procedures. Therefore, unqualified applicants  seek out the DIY landlords. Why? Because they know that they are more likely to pass the less strenuous application process.

Some Screening Checks to Perform

Here are the checks that Real Property Management Freedom performs on each adult applicant:

  • Verify that Income is at least 3 times the rent;
  • Credit check to determine if they pay their debts as agreed;
  • Perform National Criminal background check
  • Conduct Florida Criminal background check
    Women Investor screening tenants

    Tenant Questions?

  • Review Sex offender list
  • Check social media accounts to help determine character; and
  • Check Prior Landlord references to see if there were any issues.

Furthermore, criminal activity committed in Orlando may not always appear on a national criminal check. Real Property Management Freedom performs special searches with the county courthouses to check local criminal history.  Therefore, not all professional managers take the time to conduct this important step.

While screening is important, it is equally important to decipher the information to properly qualify tenants. All qualifying criteria must be fairly and uniformly applied. This is necessary and protects the manager from being accused of violating fair housing laws.

Real Property Management Freedom’s goal is to place qualified tenants in our clients’ Orlando, properties as quickly as possible. Also, we maximize rent payments based on current market conditions.  We place qualified residents, by properly screening tenants and following applicable fair housing laws and state statues.

Contact Real Property Management Freedom and learn more about how we can help you qualify tenants. We will also help you maximize your rents for your Orlando area properties!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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