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Tenant Screening in Norfolk, VA – How to Find Great Tenants for Your Rental Property

 Today, we are talking about how to find great tenants for your rental property. It’s important to understand that 90 percent of all the people searching for a place to live are using a mobile device like a smart phone or a tablet. When you list your property for rent, you have to use an online marketing solution that includes a mobile feature so you have access to this traffic.



Income Requirements 


The national guidelines state you should spend no more than one third of your income on housing. So whenever we get an application, we make sure that all the applicants who will be in the property have a combined gross income of at least three times the rent amount. If they don’t, we will not even process the application. 



Criminal Background



It’s very important to complete a criminal background on each person listed on the application. Certain criminal histories will prevent people from living in certain locations, so be detailed in the information you collect. 



Credit History



You can’t make a decision based solely on an applicant’s credit score. There might be reasons behind a low score. Look for outstanding balances, things they aren’t paying or mitigating circumstances that won’t show up in the credit report. It’s important to interpret it and decide if they can afford to live in your property. A lot of people don’t realize that when someone goes through a bankruptcy, they have a discharge. That means they are no longer responsible for that debt. So when tenants come to your property after declaring bankruptcy, they have a lot less debt and a larger ability to pay. They can be your best tenants.



Landlord References



References from former Norfolk Property Management companies or landlords will give you the best sort of information. We recommend that you send a written document; an email or a fax to former landlords. Ask questions about late payments, whether an Unlawful Detainer was ever filed, if there are past balances due and whether any pets caused damage at the home. This is the best information you can collect, so get it first-hand right from the landlord.



Work History



We always ask for two payroll stubs to verify income. As you know, payroll is paid for the work you’ve already done. Therefore, we also do employment verifications to be sure the employee still works there. This provides us with a work phone number in case we need to reach the tenant at work, and we have the supervisor’s name in case we have trouble getting in touch with our tenant.



If you have any questions or you need help finding your own tenant, please contact us at the Hampton Roads Property Management team at Doud Realty Services, and we can tell you more.