Tenant Screening Checklist

Purpose and Scope: This checklist aims to help landlords or property managers assess potential tenants and make informed decisions. The checklist covers essential areas such as personal data, employment and income verification, rental history, credit and financial background, background checks, rental preferences and requirements, pet policies, lease agreements, and terms.
  1. 1

    Gather the Potential Tenant's Data

    Follow the local laws and regulations regarding personal data handling.
    • Gather basic details about the potential tenant, including their full name, contact information, and identification documents.
    • Verify the potential tenant's identity by checking their driver's license or government-issued ID.
    • Obtain the potential tenant's social security number for tax purposes.
    • Verify the potential tenant's citizenship status.
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  2. 2

    Perform Tenant's Employment and Income Verification

    Discuss with potential tenants: Do they mind having employment and income verification checks performed on them?
    Evaluate the tenant's employment status, income stability, and ability to meet rental payment obligations.
    • Request copies of the tenant's most recent pay stubs and tax returns.
    • Contact the tenant's employer to verify their employment and income.
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  3. 3

    Assess the Tenant's Rental History

    Discuss with potential tenants: Do they mind having a rental history check performed on them?
    • Assess the tenant's previous rental experiences, including references from previous landlords and verification of eviction history, if applicable.
    • Contact the tenant's previous landlords to get their rental references.
    • Ask the tenant about any evictions or other adverse rental history.
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  4. 4

    Check Tenant's Credit and Financial Background

    Discuss with potential tenants: Do they mind having credit and financial background checks performed on them?
    • Check the tenant's credit history to evaluate their financial stability and ability to handle financial responsibilities.
    • Request a copy of the tenant's credit report from a credit bureau.
    • Review the tenant's credit report for any negative items, such as late payments, collections, or bankruptcies.
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  5. 5

    Conduct Background Checks

    Inform the potential tenant you will conduct their background checks.
    • Conduct criminal background checks to verify the tenant's criminal history and assess any potential risks associated with the tenant.
    • Request a copy of the tenant's criminal background report from a background check company.
    • Review the tenant's criminal background report for any criminal convictions, including felonies and misdemeanors.
    • Conduct a reference check with personal or professional references provided by the tenant.
    • Following the local laws and regulations, conduct a social media check to identify any red flags about the tenant's behavior.
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  6. 6

    Conduct Tenant's Interview

    Interview the tenant to gather additional information and assess their suitability for the rental property about their preferences and requirements.
    • Identify the tenant's specific needs, preferences, and any special requirements they may have.
    • Ask the tenant about their preferred rental type, size, and location.
    • Ask the tenant about their pet policy and any other special requirements they may have.
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  7. 7

    Inform Tenant About Applicable Pet Policies

    During the tenant's interview, inform the tenant about applicable pet policies.
    • Address rules and regulations regarding pets including restrictions, deposits, and documentation.
    • Determine the landlord's pet policy and any restrictions that may apply.
    • Collect a pet deposit or monthly pet rent, if applicable.
    • Obtain proof of pet vaccination and licensing, if applicable.
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  8. 8

    Discuss Lease Terms and Make Lease Agreement With the Tenant

    • Discuss lease terms, rent amount, security deposits, rules and regulations, and other critical contractual details.
    • Conduct a review of the lease agreement with the tenant and obtain their signature to ensure mutual understanding and agreement.
    • If necessary per the lease agreement, collect a security deposit from the potential tenant.
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  9. 9

    Assess the Potential Tenant

    Review all the information collected during the potential tenant screening procedure and approve or deny the potential tenant.
  10. 10

    Conduct the security and pet deposits refund to the Tenant denied from the property lease.

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  11. 11

    Perform Documentation and Records Management

    Follow local laws and regulations and keep as records the following information:
    • The potential tenant's personal data
    • All documents and reports collected during the potential tenant's screening procedure
    Ask the potential tenant if they want to revoke their personal data from your records. If they want to revoke their personal data, then do so per the local laws and regulations about personal data handling.
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  12. 12

    Notify the Potential Tenant: Are They Approved or Denied?

    • Notify the potential tenant of the decision made.
    • Ask the potential tenant if they want to obtain a copy of the records collected. If yes, then provide them with one copy at least.
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  13. 13