Whether you think of screening as a tool to protect yourself and your Phoenix investment or as a dreaded part of being a property manager, it is absolutely critical for your success and safety.
Here are the top 6 items you need to screen for:
1. Income should equal 3x the monthly rent amount
2. Credit is clear or utility collections & charge offs
3. Positive references from previous third party landlords such as property management companies & apartment complexes
4. Verifiable employment & time on job
5. Criminal history must be screened
6. Screen for previous evictions
Even as a DIY landlord, it is important to establish clear rules for who you will and will not accept and stick to them. Tenants with a rough past often avoid renting from property management companies because of the stricter guidelines for qualification, however, if you are going to be completely fair (and lawful) in your requirements and avoid complaints, you must treat everyone equally by asking the same questions and not bending the rules for one person and not others. Phoenix investment property owners need to remember: it’s not personal, it’s business.
The next time you screen a tenant and are wondering about the screening process, remember that you are allowed to reject tenants with: bad credit history, insufficient income to meet the rent demands, previous damage to other units, consistent late rent payments, poor job history. You cannot, however, reject an application for discriminatory reasons including: race, religion, nationality, gender, age, disability status, and/or familial status. Acting as a businessman instead of an emotional one will leave you with a better reputation as a Phoenix investment property owner.
The key to successful property management is consistency. Consistency in who you rent to, what questions you ask, and the screening process you put each tenant through will allow you to avoid possible lawsuits and Fair Housing Act laws.
RPMWV Phx offers full service Phoenix Real Estate & Phoenix Property Management services. For additional information you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-281-2884