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Landlord Tips: Tenant Screening

Posted on Friday, August 9, 2019 at 10:14 AM
Rental Property Insurance Erie Pa

Good tenants are not always easy to come by.  A landlord has a challenge during the screening process to determine if this applicant will make a good tenant.  Here are four questions to ask yourself when considering a new tenant.

  • Do They Voluntarily Reveal Info?

             o    Landlords feel more comfortable renting to tenants who are forthcoming and volunteer information that would be helpful in the screening process. Landlords prefer tenants who don’t try to hide anything but are upfront about letting them know as much pertinent information about them as   possible. When you see that a tenant’s credit score is good but not excellent, for example, a forthcoming tenant would explain why.

  • Are They Rich (well, rich enough)?

             o   Although landlords would love to rent to “rich” tenants, if the potential tenant is truly rich, they probably aren’t in your rental market. When they think “rich,” landlords mean they want prospective tenants to make enough money to pay rent along with all their other expenses. I suppose that’s just another word for “qualified.”

             o    Many landlords live by the 30% rule: No more than 30% of income should go toward housing. So if you charge $1,000 for rent, for example, you would want your tenant (or tenants) to make at least $3,000 a month.

  • Are They Financially Responsible?

             o    Landlords look for reliability. They discover this trait from a tenant’s credit score, for one. The higher the score the more reliable the tenant appears.

             o    Here’s a general rule of thumb for credit scores:

                   §   750 – 850: Excellent

                   §   700 – 749: Good

                   §   650 – 699: Fair

                   §   600 – 649: Poor

                   §   300 – 599: Bad

  • Are They Ready to Move In?

           o    While you probably won’t get someone to move into your unit on the spot, applicants who can move to your place in a week look better than tenants who can’t move in for a month or more. Assuming they’re qualified, why would you wait for the tenants who can’t move in right away?


As always requiring renters insurance is the best way to protect you and your investment.  Contact our “Landlord Team” with any questions you may have, (814) 455-0987 x 119.


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