Tenant screening is the key to a long term tenancy. While it’s important that you screen for things like credit and criminal background, you also want to make sure you’re choosing someone who will really treat your Brentwood property like a home and stay in place for a long time.

Here at Parks Property Management, our average tenancy is currently 4.7 years. That’s pretty remarkable, and we achieve a high tenant retention rate by providing well-maintained properties and responding to the needs of our tenants. Keeping great tenants in place saves our owners money on vacancy and turnover costs.

Today, we’re sharing some tenant screening tips that will help you place the best possible residents in your rental property.

Establishing Consistent Financial Requirements

The key to a long term tenancy and finding those great tenants is doing a deep investigation of their financial status. Your ideal tenant is financially responsible, with a verifiable record of paying bills on time and managing their debt wisely. Our property management company happens to have a background in the financial industry, specifically the mortgage field. So, we understand complicated financial statements.

When we are screening tenants, we do a credit check, but we’re more interested in income and the tenant’s ability to pay rent, even if there’s a job loss or a sudden change in circumstances. So, we ask applicants to provide two years of W-2 forms and a month of pay stubs. To qualify tenants, we use the gross income over 24 months, and we look for a maximum debt to income ratio of 40 percent.

Conducting Tenant Background Checks

We also require a detailed background check when we’re screening tenants, utilizing our direct access to Transunion. Pulling a complete and comprehensive background check and analyzing the results quickly has allowed us to find highly qualified tenants in a very quick manner. We know that vacancies cost money, so we work hard to get great tenants in place quickly. Our average time placing tenants right now is 14 days.

Additional Tips for Finding Great Tenants

When you have a detailed and thorough screening process in place, you increase your chances of finding well-qualified tenants who will stay in place for more than just one lease term. Other things you might want to consider include:

  • Allow pets. We know that some rental property owners hesitate before allowing pets because of the damage those animals might cause. But, you can put some pet restrictions in place to mitigate that risk. Pets equal happy tenants, and when you place tenants who have pets, they are likely to stay in your property longer because finding pet-friendly homes isn’t always easy.
  • Car check. Take a peek inside the prospective tenant’s car when they arrive at the property for a viewing. If they keep a really clean car, chances are they will keep the property clean as well and treat it like a home they own.

These are just a few of the things we recommend when you’re screening for the best possible tenants in Brentwood, CA. For more information, contact us at Parks Property Management.