How to Screen Tenants Without Meeting Them
Updated: Jan 20
Most property owners will agree that thorough and proper tenant screening is one of the most critical things you can do to be successful. After all, there’s nothing worse than placing a problem tenant in your rental property. When you do that, you risk property damage, late or non-payment of rent, and even lengthy court battles.
But would you ever approve a tenant without having ever met them?
Some traditional property owners would respond with a resounding “no;” Meeting with a tenant in person is a great way to really tell whether they’re a good fit for your rental. However, by using a reputable Vegas rental property management company, many international investors have found success.
Today we’re going to share with you the best ways to find high-quality tenants without meeting them face-to-face. Trust us, it can be done if you approach it the right way. So, let’s find out how to do just that.
5 Tips for Screening Tenants You’ve Never Met
1. Understand Where the Risk Lies
Of course, there is always going to be an element of risk when you screen and approve a tenant you’ve never met before. In fact, many people will say that it was only after meeting a tenant face-to-face that they decided to decline their offer.
However, rental property owners are human just like anyone else. And while gut instinct has its place in the world, it has been known to be wrong from time to time. So, relying solely on the energy you feel when you meet a tenant in person to decide whether to lease your property or not isn’t rational.
Remember, it’s the tenant that carries the most risk when they agree to rent your home without having met you or seen the place. And if you do things right, you’ll ask your tenants for an application and holding fee when they show enough interest.
Anyone that’s willing to hand over that kind of money to someone they don’t know takes the bigger risk. It also shows they are serious about leasing from you and are likely to be decent tenants.
2. Be Strict With Your Process
Just because you’ve decided not to meet with tenants doesn’t mean you should become lax with your entire screening process. If anything, the tenant screening process you follow should become stricter.
Here are some best practices to follow during the vetting of prospective tenants:
Understand the demographics of the area and determine an average household income to compare with your rent rate
Choose a minimum credit score you’ll accept
Run credit and background checks on every single tenant that applies and evaluate the results
Take into consideration the security deposit during employment and income verification
The stricter your criteria, the better your chances are of placing a good tenant in your property. Of course, you never want to discriminate against protected classes while screening tenants. But having a threshold for what you will and will not accept is perfectly fine.
3. Follow up on References
It’s important you require three types of references from all prospective tenants:
Previous Landlord: find out whether your potential tenant gave their last landlord any issues. This might include late rent payments or property damage. A landlord will happily tell you whether a tenant is good or bad because they have no personal attachment.
Employer: how your tenant acts at work can be a good indicator as to what kind of person they are. Again, an employer is likely to remain objective and honest about a tenant’s conduct.
Personal: though no sane tenant gives the number of their biggest foe as a reference, it’s good to round out the screening tenant process with a personal reference.
If you use Vegas rental property management to help screen potential tenants, they'll require the references and follow up with them for you. Not to mention, even if your property manager requires a tenant to physically hand in an application, you won’t have to be there during the drop off.
You will, however, have a say in whether to approve the tenant or not, even without having met them in person.
4. Learn the Red Flags
You can identify many red flags in a tenant without meeting them face-to-face. In doing so, you avoid placing a bad tenant in your property and running into major issues later on.
Here are some of the most important red flags to become familiar with:
Tenants that have nothing good to say about their previous landlord (and place all the blame elsewhere)
Unstable employment or income
Those with prior evictions, regardless of the explanation
Any type of criminal background
People who have moved many times within a small period of time
Anyone who has been living with a friend or relative without just cause
Knowing the signs that make up a bad tenant will save you time and money in the long run. Plus, it will help you choose the tenant you want in your rental.
In the end, your prospective tenants will either pass or fail your screening process. Meeting them in person won't make a difference either way.
5. Use Vegas Rental Property Management to Help
Are you in need of Las Vegas property management?
If you find yourself struggling to screen tenants thoroughly, it’s a good idea to invest in a reliable Vegas rental property management company to help.
An experienced property manager will be able to properly screen and place high-quality tenants in your investment properties. Plus, they'll take the pressure off you to meet your tenants in person.
If you decide you want to screen tenants without meeting them in person, but need the help of Vegas rental property management, contact us at Home365 Property Management. We handle tenant screening so you don’t have to.
But more than that, we offer services like rent collection and maintenance repairs in a digital way, elevating your experience as a rental owner to convenient and hassle-free. For a monthly flat fee, you'll never have to meet another tenant in person again. Better yet, you'll never have to worry about placing a bad tenant in your rental again either.