ALWAYS . . . GET A CREDIT REPORT

Screening prospective Tenants can be difficult but here are a couple of tips that will help you to minimize your risk of getting a bad Tenant.

 One of the main elements in screening your Tenants is to get a credit report. There are many other ways to check out your tenants but a credit report will do the best job of surfacing potential issues in their ability to pay rent and in general will help you to sort through your applicants. You can get a credit report in a couple of different ways; First, is to have your prospective Tenants run their own credit report. But be careful, free credit reports are available but rarely have a credit score. A credit score is key. Without the credit score you are subjected to reading through reams of credit information… some good and some not so good and having to figure out if this applicant is a good risk or not. The credit score will do all of that for you. Secondly, you can find many companies on the web that you can sign up with to run credit reports for your applicants. These companies will of course check you out first to be sure that you are trustworthy enough to be dealing with such sensitive information and that you will get the proper authorizations from your applicants.

 As to what credit scores are good and bad; that depends on your market but I can give you some very rough ideas: a stellar credit score is 800+ and a score in the 500 range is going to be due to a lot of late payments, possibly judgments or even a bankruptcy.  If you are renting high-end properties, you probably would not want a Tenant with a credit score below 700.  If you are renting blue collar properties or low income properties scores in the 600’s would be “golden”!

 In summary, a credit report will “tell the tale” about your Tenants. Be careful though not to be too restrictive; these are tough economic times we live in and you need to hear everyone’s “story”.

 To view a short video on this subject go to: http://bit.ly/eCprVn

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