Are you a new landlord in Houston, Texas? Before you give your first tenant a set of keys, do a background check.
Screening tenants will allow you to check their credit, criminal background, and rental history. If a potential resident has three evictions on their record, you'll know about it.
Doing a tenant background check is 100% legal, and it will protect you and your other residents. Check out this guide to learn more.
When you run a background check on a tenant, you'll see how many years they typically stay in one place. If they've stayed in three different properties over the course of three years, they may not be right for you.
Once they leave, you'll have to waste time and money screening another tenant to fill the vacancy.
As part of the screening process, you'll need to ask for references and actually call them.
If a previous landlord complains about a tenant leaving their property in a state of disarray, there's a good chance they'll do the same to yours. You want tenants who will treat your rental as if it's their own.
According to the Fair Housing Act, there are a few things that you can't turn a tenant away for in Houston, Texas. For example, if you have a no pets policy, that doesn't mean you can refuse a tenant with an assistance animal.
You also can't deny a tenant based on their age, gender, sexuality, and national origin.
You can turn a tenant away based on their criminal history. If someone has a few speeding tickets on their record, that's no reason to deny them a set of keys. However, if you feel like they'll endanger your other residents, that's a different story.
If someone has a history of burglary and other heinous acts, and you give them a set of keys because you didn't check their criminal background, you can be held liable for their actions if they hurt someone.
The injured party will be well within their rights to sue you for negligence. That's a lot of time and money that you most likely can't afford to lose.
Keep High-Quality Tenants
Chances are, tenants who are willing to go through the screening process are serious about renting a property. That means if you give them a set of keys, they're likely to stick around for a while.
You won't have to spend money relisting the home and marketing it any time soon. These high-quality tenants are also likely to treat your property with respect.
Importance of Performing a Tenant Background Check
As a landlord in Houston, Texas, there's almost nothing more important than running a tenant background check. It will allow you to look for past criminal activity and evictions. You'll also catch a glimpse of their credit score.
The trouble is that screening tenants takes a lot of time and effort. Let Terra Residential Services take care of it.
Our property management company has been screening tenants for over 30 years. Contact us today to learn more.