Most of us see ourselves as great judges of character. So it stands to reason that Port Charlotte, Fl, property owners who get a good vibe from a potential renter would lean into that feeling and move forward with the applicant. However, there are two reasons why someone could convince you they are a good renter: they are indeed a great candidate, or they are very charismatic characters who can convince property owners to let them move in (even though they are truly bad tenants). 

Not knowing whether a prospective renter is a good decision is why screening renters is so essential! Landlords can make a significant rental management mistake by not screening renters. Catching one major rental-related red flag or placing a bad tenant can quickly help you realize that first impressions can be wrong. Read on to learn more about how quality Port Charlotte property management companies use screening to find appropriate, reliable renters.

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What is Applicant Screening for a Rental Property?

While there are plenty of mistakes to make as a Port Charlotte rental property owner, skipping the screening process can put a significant dent in your ROI. Screening renters is a process that reviews an applicant's rental history and financial situation related to their ability to be a strong renter. A thorough process includes:

  • Criminal background check
  • Credit history
  • Employment and income check
  • Past rental history and reference checks
  • Eviction history review

A legal screening process applies these background checks to look for potential red flags or issues that don't meet your renter criteria. For instance, if your screening process reveals an eviction (or more than one) or late payments, it might not be smart to let that applicant move in. However, one or two disclosed issues with paying rent years ago could be irrelevant if they've had a sterling record since. 

Take note: if a renter tries to sweet talk you out of the screening at all, you have a good reason to wonder what they're trying to hide. To maintain a legal and fair screening process, screen every applicant for every rental property and apply the same criteria. This removes bias and helps ensure that you are doing your due diligence to find and place quality tenants!

If Screening Seems Like An Extra Step, You've Gotten Lucky So Far

Yes, there are costs associated with renter screening, and some real estate investors may choose not to add those costs to their routine expenses to improve returns. However, if you've managed to find a few good renters without a screening process, it can be a financial mistake to keep pressing your luck with your rental properties! 

Troublesome renters who won't pay (and won't leave) are one of the biggest threats to your bottom line and return on your investment. The best professional Port Charlotte property management companies can help investors change their perspective on tenant screening costs! Even one renter who doesn't pay the rent or an eviction can be more costly than implementing an efficient and thorough screening process.

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Checking Relevant Details Can Boost Your Bottom Line

A Port Charlotte property manager can tell you that rental applicant checks can turn up many different relevant pieces of information to help you choose the best new renters for your properties. Calling up a past rental owner and asking them about a prospective tenant can reveal noise complaints or property damage, which could lead to costly repairs or lawsuits for you if you allow them to move in. You may also discover that their employment history is spotty or full of short stints with jobs that indicate a renter can't afford the monthly rent now—or might default later. 

When a Port Charlotte rental property owner catches these "red flag" background elements before allowing a renter to move in, they can avoid challenges with unpaid rent or costly repairs that damage cash flow and ROI. The goal isn't to look at every renter with suspicion. Instead, it's valuable to make this a routine part of your process because you simply never know who might have a history of causing trouble for their investment property owners.

Better ROI Starts With a Port Charlotte Property Management Company and Quality Renters

Getting accustomed to great renter screening can take a while. That's why so many property owners work with Port Charlotte property managers to make sure they have a thorough screening process in place. Rental management companies have significant time and experience with effective tenant screenings to identify patterns and red flags that lead to complicated renter relationships and income loss for real estate investors.

Gulf Coast Property Management is here to help screen and place quality tenants! With our professional property management services, you can skip the learning process and benefit from our expertise. Reach out to learn more about how we can help. 

Property owners can do more than find good tenants to boost ROI. Check out our free guide, "10 Things You Should Do To Increase the ROI for Your Investment Property."

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