Friday 31st October 2014
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How to Screen Your Oklahoma City Tenants

People often look for that one thing that is the key…that if you did this right, you’d have it made. If I had to pick just one thing that makes a bigger difference than anything in property management, it’s getting a good tenant who is going to take care of your property, pay the rent, and not be a constant pain.

If your property management company does that part right, it will save you a ton of grief. If your property management company doesn’t do that, they and you will be in for some expensive lessons.

In this blog post I’m going to share with you three ways my Oklahoma City property management company, OKC Home Realty Services, LLC screens tenants.

Once you have a prospective tenant raise their hand and say, “I want to rent this property” you need to have an application you can get into their hands. OKC Home Realty Services, LLC 2-page rental application, and what I’m focusing on the most on those 2 pages are three things: their rental history, their source of income, and their criminal record.

Some rely strongly on a credit report because it is a strong indicator of how they pay their bills (or not). I recommend pulling a credit report on more expensive rental ($900 per month and more). On lower-end rentals, it tends to lose it utility. However, it doesn’t necessarily show how they will pay their rent. Some people will slow pay or no pay on just about anything other than their rent.

OKC Home Realty Services, LLC does focus strongly on the three areas that I’ll break down below.

Rental History
I’m most interested in the most current year, and possibly the last last five years or rental history. I need to have complete history (i.e., continuous) for the last year. I don’t want to see any evictions in the last five years. If I find them, I will require first and last month’s rent in addition to possibly a higher security deposit. I want to be convinced we’re actually talking to their landlord when we call their reference. If the prospective tenant complains about how bad their last landlord was, I just know that’s what I can expect from them.

Source of Income
OKC Home Realty Services, LLC needs to see a job history for the last year. If they just started their job in the last month, I’m not too impressed (unless they are moving in from out of state). Pay stubs are usually a requirement so I can verify their numbers. I also want to call their personnel office just to verify what they are saying is actually the truth. I’m comfortable if they are taking home three times the monthly rent. If it’s less that’s too tight for most households.

Criminal Record
We (OKC Home Realty Services) always check their name and social security number against the Oklahoma Supreme Court system on-line database. I’m looking at what their situation has been for the last five years or so. Any evictions should show up. You’ll also see minor offenses like speeding. Red flags for us are evictions, drug convictions, or other felony offenses in the last five years. If they’ve had a felony that was 10 years ago but nothing since, I’m not all that concerned.
Click here to find out more about OKC property management.
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