Screening your Ogden renters carefully (and legally) is crucial to ensure you protect your investment.
Without the right renters, you're not safeguarding your long term returns and income potential—plus, you're exposing your Ogden rental property to unnecessary risk! When someone applies to rent your property, that doesn't always mean they're immediately the right fit for your investment.
With this in mind, there are several steps you can take to ensure you’re getting someone who will take good care of your real estate. When you find the right renter that truly fits your Ogden property, you find someone who will pay rent on time, care for your rental as if it were their own home, and report any issues they discover to keep your rental in good condition.
Your renters are the ultimate driver of your portfolio's profitability, so that makes this part of the rental lifecycle absolutely crucial to your success! Thankfully, as an expert provider of property management, Ogden, UT investors, we're in the unique position to be able to guide you in this pursuit of property excellence.
Here are some of the top things we look for when screening applicants who may be your future renter.
Please note: This article is not intended as a substitute for the great legal advice of a skilled attorney. It's designed to help property owners learn more about how to successfully manage their Ogden rental property. If you need direct legal counsel, reach out to your allies at Reeder Asset Management!
Previous Rental History
First and most important is acquiring the former rental history of your potential resident. This is crucial, and many Ogden rental property owners overlook it.
You want to find out if your applicant has any evictions in the past, or caused excessive damages in the last home they stayed in. If there's a mountain of late fees piled up behind your applicant, that may be a red flag. Asking these kinds of in-depth questions carefully will help you avoid putting the wrong person in your property.
You’re looking for a reliable renter who pays rent on time, takes care of the property, and has pride in living there. If their former rental history doesn't showcase this, it's likely already time to move on to the next applicant. Keep in mind: If you aren't sure whether or not something is a red flag, you can always reach out to expert property management, Ogden, UT investors, to get some additional insight. Your goal is to protect your investment, so don't skip the fine print!
Second, you want to be sure they can afford to pay the rent on time. A lot of times, people apply without doing the math.
- They might apply for a place based on the look of it and if they like it. They don’t necessarily think about whether they can afford your Ogden rental property!
- You need to do your own homework and make sure you’re renting to someone who will be able to pay for your rental property so that you can avoid costly turnover later.
Our tip for Ogden investors is that you should require an applicant to earn roughly three times the monthly rent amount. We go a little further than other Ogden property management companies and do a debt-to-income ratio assessment when we’re deciding whether to approve an applicant.
Criminal Background Check
Always look at an applicant’s criminal history. You don’t want to see any excessive criminal charges or felonies that may cause issues with your neighbors or result in property damage.
This is also one element you may want to let a professional third-party screening service handle rather than touching these files yourself. Again, you can always reach out to property management, Ogden, UT investors, to handle these sensitive screening components for you.
An advantage of working with a local Ogden property manager is that you've got yourself a professional buffer against claims of bias or discrimination in the screening process. Ultimately, this protects your investment, provides peace of mind, and shelters your long term income.
Credit Reports and Credit Scores
- Part of your screening process should include a credit report.
- You should also ensure the applicant has paid past creditors on time.
- There shouldn’t be any sign of excessive past-due bills or collection activity.
These things will ensure you get the right person in the property and are able to collect rent on time. Of course, these are just the big (or what we would refer to as crucial) details to look at.
It's also just as important that you conduct this entire screening process from a place that's free of potential bias, or you may quickly find yourself on the wrong side of the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to name a few. This position can quickly get costly: if you'd rather not expose your properties to that kind of risk, it's time to work with professional property management, Ogden, UT investors!
As always, if you have any questions about Ogden rental screening or you’d like some professional help from an Ogden property management company, contact the experts here at Reeder Asset Management!
Updated and republished 8/25/2020.