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The process of screening potential tenants can get overwhelming. As a landlord who desires to only accept the best renters, it's essential to note down things to remember about each prospect.
On that note, we're going to tackle the topic of keeping records. Not only will record keeping help you have readily available information in case you decide that you like a tenant, but it will also serve as a basis for improving your rental property business.
Every now and then, you get calls from different people who inquire about the rental property. Make sure that you always take note of their details -- the caller's name, the date they called you, and the number they used. Keep these details in an excel spreadsheet. This will make it easy to identify whether the same person has contacted you in the past.
Many landlords have a list of prospective tenants to call and a list of qualifying questions to ask before they visit the property for viewing. Don't just keep a list of pre-screening questions -- note down their answers as well. You can compare the answers they provided over the phone against their answers on the rental application form.
Related: 3 Ways to Screen Potential Tenants
The rental application isn't just any paper, it's an important business record that needs to be preserved -- even if a potential tenant or you changes his or her mind about renting. Keeping this record will be extremely useful in the event that a tenant whom you chose to reject accuses you of discrimination. You'll want to retain rental applications for at least 5 years.
I highly encourage you to take down notes of the things that prospective tenants say about the rental unit. Comments give you insights into what to improve in your rental. For example, if someone touring the unit tells you that "the floor is squeaky" or "the paint looks weathered," consider giving your rental an upgrade that doesn't hurt your budget.
I hope that you use these tips to maximize your tenant screening efforts. Keeping certain notes and documents handy will save you time, protect you, and improve your business.
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