Bill Gray – The Landlord Doctor

Insider Advice on Collecting Tenant Debt and Screening Tenants

Posts Tagged ‘Tenant Screening’

Do not Make These Mistakes When Screening New Tenants from Abroad!

Posted by Bill Gray on November 22, 2009

[tweetmeme] Screening possible new tenants who have recently come from another country can be challenging.  Even those who may have been in the U.S. for some time may be a challenge — if you are not judicious enough to very carefully read what they have submitted on their application.

1. Dates: When most Americans write a date, they normally put it in month/day/year order.  In other countries, however, often the month and day are inverted so that dates are printed day/month/year.  The American military also uses a dating system that shows day/month/year.

Also be aware that the numbers themselves may look different than the way you are accustomed to seeing them.  Many other countries put a hook on the bottom of a ‘9’ or a line through the middle of a ‘7.

Since several types of screening reports are matched to birth dates, you can understand that entering the wrong date could hinder your ability to receive complete data about your applicant.  I prefer a rental application that clearly asks for the day, month and year.

2. Hyphenated names and spelling: Other than possibly nicknames, most of us print or write out our name the same way every time.  Not so in some other countries.  Often the name is

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Don’t Miss an Important Component to Screening New Tenants!

Posted by Bill Gray on October 7, 2009

[tweetmeme source=”your_twitter_name” only_single=false vital part of tenant screening requires more than learning about applicants, their employment and credit history—it’s learning everything you can about theirtele-interview2 previous rental history. Yes, former landlords who have rented to this tenant before have a wealth of information which should be weighed carefully before you approve an application.

Think about it. For six months or six years, former landlords have received or not received payments from your applicant. They know how the tenant left the property and about any complaints made when they leased it.  Their file and recollection can provide you with more insight than you’ll find by calling employers or ordering a credit report.

Start with the end in mind and weed out any applicants who might not treat your property with a gentle, kind, and caring hand. Was their former landlord impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the property when the tenant moved out?  Or were they overwhelmed and disappointed with the lack of attention and personal consideration they showed by leaving the unit a mess?

Screening former landlords can reveal much more, though, and the information you gain is worthy of your time. Does the tenant have a history of short-term housing, indicating problems with payment or other terms of the lease? Was the tenant a nuisance to other tenants? Did the tenant honestly disclose past information to previous landlords, and did that information hold true?

I should note here that all applicants are not Honest Abe.  Dishonest applicants know that telling the truth on applications could hurt their chances of being

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Posted in Credit Bureau Reporting, Landlord Tenant, Tenant Screening | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »