Skip to Main Content

The Do’s & Don’ts of Tenant Screening

Tenant Screening of course is the most important aspect to being a Phoenix landlord. Right now the Phoenix rental market is pretty tight meaning that correctly priced Phoenix rental properties that show well will get a lot of interest from potential tenants.  This also means that as a landlord there is really no reason to settle for a less than desirable or higher risk tenant (unless your property looks crappy or is really overpriced in which case you have no choice in tenants).  

Here are 5 must Do’s for tenant screening:

1. Do insist on a full two years of residential history from your applicant with full landlord information & insist on two full years of employment information.
2. Do try to select an applicant who has residential payment history through a property management company so if can truly be verified.
3. Do verify private landlord information through the Maricopa county assessor’s office if you decide to work with applicants who have been renting through a private individual. You’ll be surprised at how often the names don’t match up.
4. Do carefully review collections and charge offs on credit and look up the name of the creditor online as you will be surprised at how many of them are actually apartment collections.
5. Do a check on the Maricopa county civil court records to look for previous or current evictions of the applicants.

Here are 5 must Don’ts for tenant screening:

1. Don’t ever just take an applicant’s word for anything as it most likely is not accurate.
2. Don’t ever move forward with an applicant who can’t show you in person their’s driver’s license or passport as there is a good chance there is some kind of fraud involved.
3. Don’t ever rent to someone who has been evicted even if it was a while ago – I know you want to believe that it won’t happen again but it will.
4. Don’t rent to co-signers. If the occupant isn’t responsible for the rent they also want be responsible for keeping the property up which means lots of damages for you the Landlord.
5. Don’t ever judge an applicant based on what they look or “seem” like instead let their actual information such as credit, previous housing history, employment history, income & criminal background speak for itself.