The Application Series - #5 –The Other Info
- Two references each for nearest relatives, personal references and professional references
Tenants who have friends and family in the area of the rental tend to stay long term. It is better to know if a potential tenant already has an attorney they deal with frequently. Also, this information will come in handy if you were to have any problems reaching a tenant in the future for a rent payment or other circumstances.
- All Vehicles Owned
Any loans on the credit report should match the vehicle information given. If a potential tenant has co-signed for a car loan, they may be tempted to pay that and other money to the person they co-signed for and pay rent late since the car loan reports to their credit.
- Credit references, including credit cards and car loans along with the monthly payment
This information should match up to the credit report to determine if the potential tenant is forth coming. Also, you may catch something that is not on the credit report like a Buy Here Pay Here loan.
Skills – Ask applicant to list useful skills known and tools owned
Picking the most qualified applicant doesn’t always come down to money and credit. If you have two qualified applicants, you may have to determine the best fit by who is more qualified to take care of minor maintenance at the home, who already has lawn equipment to maintain the yard and who may be able to do small jobs for you. You can also weed out a shade tree mechanic who might have cars torn apart in the yard every week.
Legal – Ask if the applicant has any of the following
- Broken rental agreement or lease
- Refusal to pay rent
- Interruption of income or ability to pay rent
- Felony or misdemeanor
- Child support or alimony
- A business conducted from a residence
- Any additional information that they think would be helpful
Not all information makes it to all 3 credit bureaus and you may be limited to pulling 1 bureau. This is also another test to see if the potential tenant is forth coming. If they are forth coming you could gain a lot of insight to past patterns, determine if there will be a lot of traffic from a business and get the potential tenant to tell on themselves by giving them the space to talk. On the positive side, many applicants use the additional information space to show how motivated they are to rent the property. It can be beneficial to throw in a trick question in this list to make sure they are reading the questions. You would expect for these questions to all be answered no, so throw in one in the middle that needs to be answered yes like, Are you willing to pay rent on the 1st of each month?
The next blog is going to help you bring together all of the information collected to make a decision on who is the BEST qualified applicant.