Planning to have tenants? Well, if so, you should know that screening tenants is an important topic for rental property owners to be familiar with. It is critical to select the best quality tenant if you want to have a long-term success. Moreover, as the property owner, developing a good screening process reduces the chance you will face future issues with your real estate investment. Here are some important tips you can follow when it comes to screening tenants:

1.    Create a scoring system for selection:

It is always best to create a scoring system of your own so that you can evaluate every tenant objectively. Carefully write down all the important aspects that should be considered while looking for a tenant and consider the person that got a higher score in that criteria.

2.    Use a strong rental application:

The next tip is to use a strong rental application every time. Remember that you are doing this for your own good. Make sure you include a permission to contact previous landlords or the current ones to get the required information. Moreover, always get proof of identity, by asking for documents like a state ID card or drivers license, and documentation proving sources of income,  like child support, and pensions, etc.

3.    Contact previous landlords:

Contacting previous landlords is always important as it will help you to identify that the person you are selecting will be able to pay on time or not. Their record with the previous landlord will help answer many of the basic questions you will have on your mind.

4.    Verify their job with their employer:

If the tenant is working somewhere, make sure that you call their employer to check their employment status and job stability. You can ask basic questions, such as whether the person is currently working there or the duration of their employment.

5.    Ask for references:

This step will especially be required if the tenants do not have previous rental history. As previous landlords can provide important information, in their absence, ask for at least three references. The questions you can ask to those references will include how do you know the person, share some important details about them, ask them about the reliability of the tenant etc.

6.    Hire a third party for detailed investigation:

You also need to consistently check their criminal record, credit score, and for a history of other evictions. This can be done by hiring a third party that can perform all of these investigations. In the case of any objectionable history, you can reject the tenant. Make sure you do this for every tenant, as subjectivily conducting this type of background check can open you up to charges of discrimination. It’s easy to protect yourself and just do this every time, even if the probability of finding something is small.

7.    Call the new tenants after their move-in:

It is a nice gesture if you call your tenants after they have moved into your property. Make them realize that you are there for them and you will be happy help them if any issues arise. There are a lot of landlords that ignore this aspect of property management, but you help your brand and your property performance when you create an environment of trust with your tenants.

These are the tips you will want to consider as a property owner while screening tenants.



  1. I wish my previous landlord had called and followed up with me back when I rented. I didn’t have any major issues but it would have been nice.

    Screening carefully as a landlord is definitely important. In the past as a landlord, I have seen several issues. Nothing major- but I do remember dealing with some tenants with slow pay/late pay on the rent. Not easy to deal with.

  2. While it may seem like a lot of work, renting property to someone that trashes your property is a nightmare! I never knew it would be so difficult to evict someone. I plan to check your posts to see if you’ve written anything about the necessary steps to removing a bad renter in case I have that problem again.

  3. Screening tenants is such a critical step for success in owning rental property. Great tips for doing this right and making sure that landlords only select qualified tenants for their properties.

  4. I just wanted to thank you for these helpful tips on screening tenants. My husband and I wanted to rent out a small home on our property and we were looking for advice on renting out. This post really gives us a great start. Something that I never thought of was calling them after they have moved in. Will make sure to do that for our new tenants.