How To Properly Screen Tenants in San Antonio

Investing in rental properties can be a reliable source of monthly income. You have found an affordable property in a great rental location in San Antonio.   You have made some nice improvements to the property and you now need to find a tenant.  The following article describes how to properly screen tenants in San Antonio.

Applications

Begin by posting an ad for your rental and have your prospective tenants complete an application.  Request information about their income level and a list of their current and previous employment.  This should be verified with pay stubs or financial statements.  The application process should also require previous landlord contact information, rent amount and address since you may want to use the previous landlord as a reference.  If there are any gaps in rental history be sure to ask why.  You will also need to ask how many people will be living in the house and if there are any pets.  Also, be sure to ask for personal references.  If the candidate will not provide any or all of this information then it may be a red flag.

Contact References

You will want to begin by verifying employment.  This is as simple as calling their employer to confirm that they are employed where they claim.  This of course will help verify that they have a reliable and regular income and will be able to make their rent payments.  Calling their personal references will give you an idea as to what kind of person they are which will provide further confirmation as to whether they will be able to make their rent payments.   If this all looks good then call their previous landlord to find out how they were as a tenant and if they paid rent on time.  Here are a few good questions ask the previous landlord include: 

  • Does the tenant have current debt with you?
  • Does the tenant have a history of on-time payments?
  • Has the tenant caused any damage to the property?
  • Did the tenant disrupt the neighbors or cause any issues?
  • Did the tenant receive their security deposit when they moved out?
  • Would you rent to this tenant again?

Credit Check

Running a credit check will give you a good indicator as to how the candidate handles their payments in general.  It will show if they have a habit of making timely payments or late payments and if they have a history of missing payments.    You will want to run a credit check on your promising candidates. It will also show you their current debt level and whether they will be able to pay the rent you are asking.

Background Check

Running a background check on candidates is always a good idea.  Be sure that the service you use can provide rental history to identify past evictions, criminal records, public records for unreported judgments and outstanding debt. This all helps paint a picture of the type of person they are.

Interviews

Promising candidates should be interviewed.  This will allow you to confirm that their lifestyle and habits fit the intended use of your property. You may want to ask about the following items:

  • Do you have any pets? How old are your pets? Are they housebroken?
  • Do you plan on getting a roommate in the future?
  • What is your typical workday like? Do you work night shifts or odd hours?
  • Do you smoke? Do you smoke indoors or outside?
  • Do you have any friends or relatives who frequently spend the night in your home?

Final Decision

The more diligence you do on the front end of finding a quality tenant the easier your job will be later on.  Of course, your goal is to find a responsible tenant who can always make their payments, takes care of the property and respects the rules.  At the very least, you want a very clear snapshot of who the tenant is a if they will be able to pay their rent. Be sure to not cross the line, make sure you follow the landlord-tenant laws of San Antonio and do not break any privacy laws. Make sure the tenant you select will be willing to treat your property with respect and follow any guidelines of living in your property. 

For help with how to properly screen tenants in San Antonio or Texas, feel free to give Big Buck Home Buyers a call at ‪(210) 920-5280‬ or send us a message and we can discuss your property and help you fine-tune your screening process.

Another great resource can be found here.

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