When it comes to screening tenants, there are five specific elements we look at carefully at Ravago Group Property Management. Those elements are credit, income verification, rental verification, criminal history and identity.
Start your screening process by looking at the credit score of your applicant. At Ravago, the minimum Fico score we will consider is around 600. If there are any derogatory issues on the credit report, we’ll take those things under review. When everything else checks out but the applicant does not meet the established credit standards, you can ask for an additional deposit. We will often talk to the property owner about whether a weaker credit score is acceptable when other elements of the screening process check out.
You have to make sure the applicants have the ability to pay rent every month. It’s a good idea to require an income that is two and a half or three times the amount of rent. That means if the monthly rent is $1,000, you are looking for your tenant to have a monthly income of at least $2,500 or $3,000. It’s important to verify rent can be paid.
We always talk to an applicant’s current landlord, but remember that any reference should be taken with a grain of salt. If the tenant is a problem, the landlord might be looking for a way to get rid of that problem. You might consider talking to a previous landlord to get a more accurate reference.
You certainly don’t want Bonnie and Clyde living in your home. Always run a full criminal background check. At Ravago Group, our background checks are so detailed that we often pick up speeding tickets and parking tickets while we’re doing our screening. That’s okay, because you want a detailed system that is robust and won’t leave anything out.
Make sure you know exactly who is moving into your property. Check the identification of your applicant and make sure it is valid.