How We Screen Your Rental Applicants in Columbia

How We Screen Your Rental Applicants in Columbia

Over the last 4 years, over 400,000 evictions have been filed in South Carolina.

If you're a Columbia landlord, you never want to have to evict a tenant. At a certain point, however, you have to prioritize the protection of your real estate investment. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent evictions.

Tenant screening is the best way to ensure you're getting a responsible tenant in your unit. A property manager can help you screen applicants to weed out the worst candidates. Keep reading and you'll understand that quality screening goes beyond a simple tenant criminal background check.

Understanding of Local Laws

One of the crucial things that property managers bring to the table is an understanding of tenant screening laws. The Federal Fair Housing Act is in place to prevent discrimination in the screening process. A property manager knows this law and how to screen tenants with it in mind.

Marketing and Applications

Your property management company will create your property listing on your behalf, complete with a detailed description of the property and professional-quality real estate photographs. They'll make sure your listing ends up on the biggest rental platforms to cast a wide net for applicants.

Once you generate interest, they'll use rental applications to help separate the best candidates from the rest of the pack. Applications are essential if you're going to properly screen tenants, as they ask for all of the necessary information.

Tenant Criminal Background Check

The best methods for screening tenants are criminal background checks, financial background checks, and reference checks. Criminal background checks are filed through SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) and cost $25.

They pull from a variety of sources to give you a thorough understanding of an applicant's criminal history. You can eliminate any candidates with concerning felonies or misdemeanors.

Financial Checks

You need to do financial checks to make sure an applicant can afford to rent your apartment. These will look into a person's credit, which can give you a clear picture of their financial standing over time.

Poor credit shouldn't necessarily rule a candidate out. If they've got poor credit, combined with a low salary or a history of unemployment, however, that's cause for concern.

Reference Checks

An underrated aspect of tenant screening is calling an applicant's references. Talking to their former landlords or coworkers can give you a better sense of whether they're a good fit for your rental.

Always keep a list of questions ready when you call references. For landlords, ask if there were ever any issues with rent payments or property damage. For character references, get a sense of an applicant's level of maturity and accountability in different settings.

Get the Best Property Management Services

When you have a great property manager, tenant screening is a breeze. They can take care of everything from property marketing to a tenant criminal background check.

With their services, you'll always end up with reliable tenants. Good tenants reduce landlord stress and keep vacancy rates low.

PMI Palmetto is Columbia's top full-service property management company. We can help you with everything from tenant screening to property maintenance. Contact us today to learn more about what we do.