Living Legacy

Effective Tenant Screening and Selection for Landlords

One of the most important tasks for landlords in Baltimore is finding quality tenants who will pay rent on time, take care of the property, and abide by the lease agreement. Tenant screening and selection is crucial for achieving this goal, as it helps identify potential red flags and ensure that only qualified applicants are approved for tenancy.

Here are some effective tips for tenant screening and selection for Baltimore landlords:

Establish a screening process

An established screening process can help streamline the tenant selection process and ensure that all applicants are evaluated consistently. Consider factors such as credit history, rental history, employment status, income, and criminal background checks. Decide on credit score minimums, income requirements, or any other non-negotiables in your tenant selection process.

Eviction screening 

An extensive eviction screening process can save you from the nightmares of an awful tenant. Some tenants are very familiar with the landlord- tenant laws and use them to their full advantage. If you are just starting your landlord journey, your lack of due diligence can cost you your entire investment. One way to avoid these “professional tenants” is to do a case search in the jurisdiction of the tenants last known residency. This will allow you to take a snapshot of the cases that were brought against them and allow you to make an informed decision. This is a free tool that can give you a quick sneak peek at the person’s history to assure they meet your screening qualifications before moving forward with the applicant. . 

Verify income and employment status

Verifying a tenant’s employment status and income helps establish their ability to pay rent. You could ask for pay stubs, tax returns, or other documentation to verify income. Be sure to check employment references to verify that the applicant is actually employed and in good standing.

Rental Application & fee 

Charging a reasonable application fee can help filter out applicants who may not be genuinely interested in renting the property or who may not meet your screening criteria. Clearly disclose the application fee amount upfront, either in your rental listing or during the initial inquiry stage. Document that the application fee is non-refundable and is  incurred in the screening process itself. The rental application should include personal information, financial information, rental history, and references. Make sure to require all potential tenants to complete a rental application before you even start to consider them as applicants.

In Conclusion

As a landlord in Baltimore, effectively screening and selecting tenants is an essential part of having a successful business. A comprehensive screening process that involves a variety of checks and balances as well as understanding fair housing laws can help you find quality tenants for your rental properties.

It may seem like a lot, but putting in the time and effort upfront will pay off in the long run by helping you avoid potential headaches with tenants down the road. By selecting tenants who are financially stable and who have a good history of caring for rental properties, you can protect your investment and provide your tenants with a safe and comfortable home.

We hope that these tips will help landlords to effectively screen and select tenants. However, if you still find yourself struggling to find quality tenants for your property, we’re here to help.

At Living Legacy, we specialize in tenant placement and can help you find qualified tenants for your rental property in 30 days or less. Our experienced team of professionals can assist you with all aspects of the tenant placement process.

Contact us today to learn more about our placement services and how we can help you find quality tenants for your rental property. More so, don’t let tenant screening and selection stress you out – let us simplify the process for you!