As a rental property owner, you’re literally handing over your property keys to someone who is essentially a stranger. Because of this, selecting the right tenants is critical to protecting your Los Angeles area rental property investment. However, one of the greatest difficulties of owning rental property is finding great tenants.
That’s why comprehensive tenant screening is such an invaluable service provided by property management companies in and around L.A.
Choosing to screen your Los Angeles area tenants will help you find renters who will pay their rent in full and on time, take care of your property, and (hopefully) become long term renters. Here are three things that tenant screening should accomplish:
You can learn a lot about a prospective tenant by running a full credit check. Do they consistently pay their bills? Do they have outstanding debt to former landlords? Do they have a history of bankruptcy or foreclosure? In addition to looking for answers to these three questions, you can also look at their debt-to-income ratio to determine if they are likely to have trouble paying the rent.
Under California law, you can’t discriminate against a rental applicant based solely on them having a criminal record. This is considered arbitrary discrimination and could cause you legal difficulties. However, certain types of offenses are red flags that should be taken into consideration. Any past criminal history that shows that there may be a threat to the health and safety of your property or the other tenants can be considered. You can look for a history of property damage, theft, sex offenses, or violence.
You probably don’t want to rent to an applicant who has a history of recent or frequent evictions. Unfortunately, it indicates that you will likely end up needing to evict them yourself some day. Taking the time to check their residence history, along with calling references and former landlords can help you determine if the applicant could be a good or bad tenant. The sad truth is, choosing the right tenants can be a time consuming task. That’s why many Los Angeles area landlords choose to use a property management company to aid them in screening and selecting great tenants. Learn more about our comprehensive tenant screening services today!