How to Process a Rental Application

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Selecting a tenant for your rental property requires effective processing of their application to ensure an educated decision on their suitability for the unit. Processing a rental application means doing the proper due diligence to ensure the information the tenant listed on the application is factual and verifiable. After processing the rental applications of all potential tenants, compare the data to decide which tenant is the best fit for your property.

  • Verify the potential tenant has signed a document allowing you to check their credit, background and references. Depending on your state you may be breaking the law if you check credit without written authorization.

  • Make copies of your tenant's identification and Social Security card. You will need the information on their ID for further verification, such as a background check.

  • Verify the prospective tenant's employment history. Employment history is an important component when processing a rental application because you must ensure your tenant can pay the rent. Use their paycheck stubs as verification of income and contact their employer directly to verify they are current employment and time on the job.

  • Verify the tenant's rental history. Your tenant should have listed previous locations they rented from with a number to the landlord. Contact the previous landlord to answer questions regarding the timeliness of rental payments as well as their conduct while staying on the premises. A number of tenant screening companies offer services that check for prior evictions and rental issues.

  • Check your tenant's credit and background. A number of tenant screening companies allow you to pull residential history, criminal background, and check credit reports. You can also obtain credit reports directly from the major credit bureaus. Each report may require a separate fee. Some tenant verification websites may charge one fee for the all-in-one report.

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