The average tenant in Grand Rapids, MI, uses 50% of their paycheck to pay rent. This can be a significant burden, putting them at greater risk of falling behind on rent. Thorough tenant screening helps determine if an applicant is the best fit for your rental property.
However, thorough screening takes time and money. While you can dedicate your resources to this, there is another option. Outsourcing tenant screening can be a good idea as it has several benefits.
Thorough and Unbiased Screening
When you do the tenant screening, it can allow emotions or personal relationships to interfere with your decision-making. This often happens when you decide to rent to friends or family. You feel obligated to approve them despite them not meeting your minimum qualifications.
Outsourcing to a property manager takes your emotions out of the situation. Instead, your property manager will look at several factors.
- Background check
- Credit check
- Criminal check
- Eviction history
- Rental history
Your property manager will consider the applicant's tenant background check, disqualifying those with violent convictions. A credit check will tell them their payment history.
Employment will tell them if the applicant can pay the rent you are asking for. An eviction history will tell you how the individual behaves as a tenant. Someone with a history of getting evicted is at a bigger risk of getting evicted again.
Save Time and Money
Outsourcing will reduce your tenant screening costs. Property managers use tenant screening software to streamline the process. This will help maximize your revenue by optimizing your property management tasks.
With your property manager managing the process, you have more free time for other pursuits. You can look for additional property or spend quality time with your family.
A property manager also has professional accounts for running multiple checks. This reduces your out-of-pocket costs for screening. Finally, a better screening process reduces your risk of placing a problematic tenant, reducing your lost profit, eviction, and vacancy costs.
You need to follow federal and state tenant screening laws. The Fair Housing Act states that you cannot discriminate against protected individuals.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) outlines how you perform a tenant credit check. You must get consent to run a criminal background check. You must also explain what information you'll gather and how you'll use it.
It's also crucial to stay up to date on applicable laws. Currently, House Bill 4818 is legislation being considered. It would prevent landlords from using an applicant's credit score as the deciding factor for approval.
Outsource Your Tenant Screening
Instead of doing your in-house tenant screening, it's time to consider outsourcing it. When you let a property management company do it, you can save time and money. You can also feel confident that your property manager will use a thorough process while maintaining legal compliance.
Landlords who work with PMI West Michigan can feel confident in our tenant screening services. Our experience enables us to place the best-fitting tenant for your rental property.
When outsourcing your screening to PMI West Michigan, feel confident about your tenant placement.