What is the easiest way to never have to evict a tenant from your duplex?
Screen them thoroughly before you let them move in.
If you’re new to rental property ownership, it may seem like a good credit score is enough to prevent getting stiffed on rent. But that’s just the beginning.
According to the Minnesota Multi Housing Association (MMHA), you should write down your screening criteria before you ever take tenant rental applications. This sets an objective set of criteria which a tenant must adhere to, which may be referred to when declining an applicant.
In your written criteria, you should consider including:
- Credit: If someone doesn’t pay their other bills, what makes you think they’ll pay you? People who don’t pay their credit cards, make their car payments or cover other bills should be avoided.
- Rental History: Call the applicants previous landlords; not just the last one, but the one before that. If yoCriu choose to use a screening service, ask them to investigate whether a tenant has previously been evicted. After all, the tenant is likely to treat you the same way.
- Income: It’s clearly a good idea for a prospective tenant to have a job if you expect them to pay you on time. A good guideline is to require an income of 2.5 to 3.0 times the amount of monthly rent.
- Criminal Record: You should always check criminal background records everywhere a prospective tenant has lived. Be sure to pay a bit extra to drill down to records on the county-level, which generally include lesser charges of the type that may impact the living environment of your property.
Nobody likes the expense of having a vacant unit. However, taking a little bit of extra time to make sure you get the right tenant may save you more money and heartache in the long run.