Finding (and keeping) the best renters means real estate investors in Atlanta homes for rent can never take a break from thorough and fair tenant screening practices—even during tough times.
We know it's challenging to lose renters (or income that renters can't pay) during an economic crisis. It's also true that an empty property loses valuable income every day that it sits without a resident. However, relaxing your screening process to replace a renter who had to move out due to income loss is never a smart way to rebuild income.
While the tenant screening process is always important, we would argue that it's almost more critical during times of crisis. It's well documented that rental scams are on the rise—and these scams burn excellent renters and rental property owners alike.
Our professional Atlanta property management screening process is far more comprehensive than what we’ve found other property managers and owners use because we've invested in A.I.-driven screening technology. We put that to work for you as the property owner when finding new renters during a recession or any crisis. Here's why it matters.
Scammers Love a Crisis
Scammers and 'Professional Tenants' are always out there—but they really love a crisis. When economic turmoil happens, scam artists love to take advantage of property owners who need new residents right away—and are willing to let their screening rules slide to fill a vacancy.
- A knee-jerk reaction to needing a new renter when a current resident can no longer pay the rent can place a risky renter in your Atlanta rental property.
- These renters don't pay the rent, cause property damage, and knowingly violate the lease rules. However, on paper, Professional Tenants look like excellent potential renters.
- It's easy to miss the red flags without following a thorough tenant screening process.
Avoiding Bad Renters Requires Screening—Every Time
All it takes is one instance of skipping the screening process to allow bad renters into your Atlanta homes.
You might experience an applicant that looks great on their application and offers rental payments up front in cash to move in right away. While that's a tempting offer, it's an offer you should refuse until you apply your screening practices to the information on the application.
What Should Investors Look For?
If you don't have an Atlanta property management company to handle renter screening and leasing for you, investors should follow the law and run background checks to learn more about an applicant. Professional Tenants lie on applications—and it's up to you or a property manager to investigate the information and find the truth before it's too late.
When screening for new renters, an expert property manager requires:
- A driver's license or state-issued ID
- A valid Social Security Number
- Date of birth.
With this information, we can run a thorough, legal screening to gather necessary information that helps us qualify or deny a potential renter. While a new resident must meet legal criteria to move into your property, we're careful not to violate fair housing laws through our screening process.
Keep It Legal
Following the law can be tricky, but you might be surprised at the amount and quality of information that's legally available and allowed to influence your renter selection process. Real estate investors cannot choose or deny a renter based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or physical or mental disability.
However, property managers are experts at applying the following information when screening new renters, including:
- Prior credit inquiries
- Social Security fraud Search
- Credit score
- Broken leases
- Credit summary
- Payment delinquencies (current or previous)
- Collections information (including 30-90 Days Late)
- Public records
- Sex Offender Registry
- National Criminal Alias search
- National eviction lookup
- Previous rental history verification
- Employment and income verification
- Pet screening (for pet-friendly properties).
When handled correctly, this private information is valuable to help determine the quality of a rental property applicant. However, if you're not familiar with how to legally obtain, manage, store, and apply this information during the tenant screening process, a professional Atlanta property management company is your best resource for this critical process.
One discrimination claim can lead to an expensive lawsuit—or shutting down your rental property business. However, real estate investors can't afford to skip the screening process without risking a costly situation with a bad renter that moves into your Atlanta rental property.
Avoid Risky Renters With Atlanta Property Management
In challenging times, real estate investors need to heighten their safety protocols and enhance their screening methods. Maintaining steady rental income can be tough enough when your residents lose jobs during an economic crisis. A bad renter that refuses to pay their rent and damages your property creates a more expensive situation than experiencing a few weeks without a renter while searching for the ideal new resident.
There's no need to stress about new renters during a crisis—or any time—when you have the experienced Atlanta property management services of Revolution Rental Management, formerly known as GTL Real Estate. We never relax our screening methods, and we also guarantee that you’ll have a high-quality renter in 21 days or less—or we waive the leasing fee.
Contact us to learn more about our renter screening and placement services!