Landlords find it much easier to retain long term tenants rather than crafting a marketing campaign to attract new renters. With a steady rental income, landlords can plan for property renovations to increase their property’s appeal and value.
A renter who wants to renew their lease is usually great news, but before signing a lease renewal right away, it’s important to perform an assessment through renewal screening checks. This lets you avoid resident issues and conflicts that can lead to unnecessary spending, especially evictions.
To protect your interest, performing renewal screening checks is recommended. A renewal screening helps you, as a landlord, learn how renters were as tenants during your first leasing experience with them. There could be potential issues lurking that you would miss if you simply resign a lease with them.
Landlords may hesitate to subject prior tenants to another screening evaluation since this can lead to a negative reaction. However, there are advantages to performing resident screening checks before renewing the lease. In this article, we’ll provide tips on a hassle-free process that provides convenience to all parties.
Advantages of Renewal Screenings
Even when a tenant has shown responsibility by paying monthly rental dues on time and taking reasonable care of the unit, it is still important to conduct a renewal screening.
In fact, some think it seems like a waste of time when you could just go ahead and sign a new lease. However, even if your past experience with the tenant has been great, it can still fail to provide the entire story.
For instance, if someone gave you a tenant reference, you would still want to run a tenant screening for safety. No matter if the one who provided the reference has an excellent reputation, you’ll still stick to the screening process as part of your rental operation.
This is similar to renewal screening checks, too. Over the leasing period, residents could have undergone changes without your notice. It is important to keep tabs and communicate with tenants periodically. That’s why, a simple screening will give you reassuring details and lead to vital benefits, such as:
- Saving on costs: performing a renewal screening check allows you to be aware of potential issues with the residents. It’s better to know ahead of time than end up dealing with possible conflicts, like evictions and court proceedings, which can lead to more expenses and income losses.
- Checking on the well-being of residents: a renewal screening check allows you to inform yourself about the general well-being of the residents, especially if you own a multifamily rental unit. It also allows you to know if your rental meets safety standards.
- Gaining peace of mind: compared to the first round of tenant screening, renewal screening checks are easier to perform. You just need to follow a simple process that provides useful information in order to gain peace of mind.
Information to Look For
The information required isn’t a lot compared with the first resident screening. Although there is overlap between the two, you don’t have to ask all the same questions as the first time.
You need to review these three factors to accomplish a successful renewal screening check:
- Credit report: Part of screening is assessing if a resident has a good credit score. It informs you of the financial health of the tenants and how responsible they are in managing their finances. Renters can also benefit from the opportunity to boost their credit score through a rent report that states prompt rental payments.Note that people’s financial standing can change anytime so doing a credit check keeps you updated with the financial health of a renter in contrast to the results of the initial screening. This is one of the primary reasons one should never skip checking credit reports when doing a renewal screening.
- Income verification: Simply asking for a W-2 statement allows you to verify the income of the resident. It helps you decide whether the renter has the capacity to make timely rent payments. You need to verify a renter’s income before signing a lease renewal in order to ensure the financial safety of your property.
- Criminal background check: Every renewal screening should include checking on court history to review if there are criminal records available. Even if it seems like extra legwork, it’s an added reassurance and duty of a landlord to complete.
Once all these things are reviewed, it’s also vital to perform an internal check. Did you have a positive rental history with the tenant? Do they pay rent reliably? Were any complaints received regarding disturbances they made? Was there property damage?
You have to arrive at a satisfactory answer before deciding to permit a lease renewal.
Process of Running a Renewal Screening
Being transparent is a great approach to adopt when performing a renewal screening. This creates a comfortable environment for both landlords and tenants and keeps them happy by not leaving out any vital information.
Learn About FHA Guidelines
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) eliminates discrimination against protected classes. You must comply with this law in all your tenant screenings -whether initial or renewal. Consult with experts to make sure your tenant screening process is FHA-compliant for the specifics of your area.
Give Tenants Notice
One of the best ways to inform residents ahead of time that you’ll be performing renewal screening is to include it in your lease agreement. This lets you avoid misunderstandings and gives the residents time to prepare the appropriate paperwork.
There’s another way to run a renewal screening check with reduced stress for you. You can engage the services of a professional property manager such as Keyrenter Premier. We have the best resources to keep track of the essential elements needed when performing a successful renewal check.
If you’re looking for a reliable partner who can perform renewal screening checks and help you collect the rent on time, maintain your rental home, and take care of your renters, contact Keyrenter Premier today!