Finding the right applicant to occupy your home can be challenging. Having the knowledge and skills to analyze qualified candidates are key.

Having been involved in real estate for 41 years, I feel that the skill of finding the right tenant has come to be second nature to me. Please allow me to share my knowledge on how one can find someone qualified to represent or lease their home too.

I personally have four criteria’s that I look at when it comes to pre-qualifying potential tenants. They are rental history, clean background, good credit without collections, and checking income to ensure that the applicant(s) makes at least three times the amount of rent in net pay.

You may be asking why rental history would be important in pre-qualifying a candidate? Well, rental history tells a lot about if an applicant is consistent in paying their rent, if they followed the rules, were compliant with their property managers, and if they took care of their living space without causing damage. These are all very important parts because, as we all know, the past is an excellent indicator of the future.

The second area I look at is an applicant having a clean background. A clean background is important because it helps to ensure the landlord that illegal activity will not be an issue in the home they are renting. It also is a good indicator of possible liabilities that may occur if there is criminal history.

The third is credit. This may be one of the most critical aspects. Not only is a good credit score showing that a tenant pays their bills on time, but shows they are responsible with money and care about making sure their most important responsibilities come first. Along with a good credit score, I look for limited to no collections. To me, if an applicant has a lot of collections or collections from other property management companies, they might not be such a great fit for your home. You want someone who is going to treat your home like their own and make sure they are paying their bills on time. We are softer on things like medical and school collections, although we do consider them, we do understand life happens!

The last aspect we look at is income. Does the applicant take home at least three times the amount of the rent? This is important because this indicates that the tenant should have more than enough to pay for their rent along with their other household bills.

Prequalifying potential tenants is probably the most significant part when an application is submitted. Finding the right tenant for a home is not an exact science but most property managers should be looking for that can not only hit the four previously mentioned criteria but is also responsible, non-problematic, & someone who truly will treat the home as if it was their own.