Mesa Property Management Blog

What to Look for When Screening a Tenant in Mesa, AZ – Property Management Tips

Often, we hear nightmare situations from homeowners with a rental property in Mesa who felt like they could manage it themselves. They are most likely to fall into a terrible situation with a tenant who wasn’t properly screened. Usually, rent isn’t being paid and the homeowner doesn’t know what to do. I always ask what was done to qualify the tenant, and it’s surprising how many people don’t do any screening at all. They shook hands and had a feeling it would work out. You can’t qualify based on feelings. Months later, the same tenant you had a good feeling about will take advantage of you. When we screen a tenant at the very beginning, we set the tone for the entire lease period. We are looking to be sure they can afford the home and will take care of the property. That’s what you expect from them. So, you have to determine if you can trust this person to occupy your property. There are a number of things we look for. [embed][/embed]

Employment and Income

We like to see a tenant who has been working at the same job for at least six months to a year. That provides stability. We also ask them to verify that they earn at least three times the rental amount. That tells you they can afford the property and they have some financial security.

Landlord References

Call a prior landlord if you can. When you have a good landlord reference, you want to verify it’s actually a legitimate landlord and not a family member or friend. Google the landlord’s name or the property management company so you can call them directly. If you get a good landlord reference, you can comfortably assume the tenant will repeat the same behavior.

Credit and Financials

We require a credit score of 550 or higher. This may seem low to some people, but when you’re doing tenant screening in Mesa, remember that people are renting for a reason. There might be issues that are causing the score to be low, but it doesn’t mean they won’t pay their rent. A lot of people we rent to can afford their home and make good tenants, but they have low credit scores. Instead of denying right away, we look at what caused the bad credit. Sometimes, a medical bill of $100,000 is hard to pay back. So, that’s understandable. If we can see they pay their utilities on time and their prior landlord tells us they paid rent on time, we can overlook a credit score issue.

Find the Right Tenant

One of the most important things to remember is not to rush. Some companies promise to fill your property within seven days. You don’t want to fit in any tenant who walks through the door. That’s not a proper screening. If a tenant can’t match our criteria, we have to pass. Holding out for the right tenant has a lot of added benefits. You’ll avoid nightmare situations. If someone can’t afford the home, or they don’t take care of their current home, you’ll wind up in a disastrous situation. So, take these precautions and screen well. If you have any questions about screening a tenant or Mesa property management, please contact us at East Valley Property Management.

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