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TENANT SCREENING

  • Transcript

    Speaker 1 [00:00:04] One of the great things about Wolfnest is that we actually have an applications team, when a tenant submits an application, we're not waiting on one of our other managers or the leasing manager to actually get that application pushed through. 

    [00:00:19] We've got a team that's dedicated to handling all of the application processing, making sure they're done quickly, but also correctly, because that's obviously very important. So our goal, again, is to minimize vacancy in between those tenants. But at the same time, we're not in a rush to place a bad tenant. 

    [00:00:39] When we are screening tenants, we are going to be abiding by Utah fair housing laws. There is no discrimination to race, religion, sexual orientation, familial status, anything like that. And really how we operate as a first come first serve basis, which really drives, you know, a little bit of competition with prospective tenants. We tell them that, hey, you know, get your application in quick. Whoever gets that security deposit in, we're going to lock in that first position and then start that screening process. So it's really a great way to, again, build some excitement around a property and really push tenants to try to get their applications in as quickly as possible. 

    [00:01:20] Now, looking at our process. It's an eight step credit and background screening, so anyone over the age of 18 is going to have to fill out an application and really go through these checks. So what does that mean? 

    [00:01:33] First thing we are going to be doing is a criminal background check, really looking for anything, you know, drug or violence related. We're also going to do a nationwide eviction check. I don't want to see -  if they haven't been evicted here in Utah, but they had an eviction in 1999 in North Dakota, we're going to see that, and that's going to be a automatic disqualifier for us. 

    [00:01:55] Next thing that we're going to do is a sex offender registry check. Again that's going to be nationwide. We're also going to be doing a credit report. So we don't really have a set number as far as, oh, we're only going to accept applications with 750 or higher.  Because of the screening process, you're looking at everything for that tenant. You know, sometimes tenants, maybe they're international or they just don't have credit cards or really a credit score, not a good one or a bad one, but they just don't have any credit. That's not always a bad thing. So we're going to look at, you know, a couple of things, not just that credit score, but obviously it's a big one. And if we see that maybe the credit score isn't where we want it to be, we may have them have a cosigner on that lease. That way, we know we have someone with a great credit score on the hook in case there is any damage. 

    [00:02:49] We're also going to be looking at their application like a bank underwrites a loan. So we're looking at payment history and collections accounts. Any liens. These are all things that are going to affect them paying rent and again, are usually going to be a disqualifier for us. Three times the monthly rental rate. That's another one that we want to see, not for one individual, but as a collective household. So, again, three times that monthly rental rate. That's usually a good rule of thumb for us. 

    [00:03:16] We're also going to be verifying income and employment, especially with COVID. And there's a lot of, you know, layoffs or furloughs. And we want to make sure that, you know, not only looking at recent income, but we want to make sure that that's going to be consistent and something that, you know, we're not going to see a reduction in hours or maybe a commission based pay stub. OK, we want to make sure that this would be consistent income. 

    [00:03:39] We're also going to be looking at the rental history. Now, this is a tough one, especially with our portfolio. A lot of our properties are, you know, single family homes or townhomes, and the actual tenants are more of a pedigree of a buyer or they haven't rented in years. However, if they have rented and they're qualified, I would say references like someone part of the Utah Apartment Association or another property management company. Yes, we are going to be following up with those references and see if they were great tenants, how did they leave the property when they left. Would they rent to them again is always a good question. Like to ask. 

    [00:04:13] And then finally, we have the best eviction attorney really in the state. He handles about 80 percent of the eviction case workload and has been doing it for 20 plus years. So we put every applicant through his database, which is pretty extensive, just to see, okay, if they were a bad tenant, maybe they didn't get evicted, but they were a headache tenant for another management company or someone that used his services or his firm, that's going to be a disqualifier for us. So, again, these are just some of the things that we do when we're screening tenants. 

    [00:04:44] I'd love to talk about this in a little bit more depth with you and see if we can be a good fit for you. So, again, it's Ryan, with Wolfnest and here on my contact information and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks. 

We conduct extensive screening on all tenants and handle every aspect of getting your investment rented in the shortest time possible. We take tenant selection seriously and understand that the wrong tenants can result in delayed rent payments, etc.

We understand the property needs to be rented quickly – but it is important to find a dependable tenant that will not default on a payment within the first month. We have zero leasing, lease renewal, or sign up fees during this process.

  • We handle the collection and processing of all necessary screening documents.
  • When screening potential tenants, we follow a comprehensive process and take a look at the following;
    • Obtain Government Issued Identification
    • Social Security Number Verification
    • Income/Employment Verification
    • Credit Score
    • Credit Report
    • Review of Landlord Debt/Bankruptcy/Foreclosure/Tax Liens/Collections
    • National Eviction Search
    • Prior Landlord Verification
    • National Criminal Search
    • National Sex Offender Search
    • Pet Related Paperwork (if necessary)
  • All applications for tenant placement are processed without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiar status or national origin of the applicant and follow Fair Housing Guidelines.

How we review prospective tenants:

  • First we complete a nationwide criminal background check.
    • We primarily look for anything related to drugs or violence as those are two things that tend to repeat themselves and are usually an immediate disqualification.
    • This report iIncludes a sex offender registry check.
  • Next we conduct a nationwide eviction check to make sure that no other court in the country has thrown them out on an unlawful detainer action before.
  • From there we review their credit report.
    • We use experian but we don't necessarily look for a certain score although the recent average for our tenants was 707.58 FICO.
  • We look at their payment history and review things like judgements, collection accounts, liens, bankruptcy, etc.
  • We also review their application as a bank would underwrite a loan and look at monthly debt service.
  • We then verify income and employment. Ensuring they make at least three times the monthly rental amount.
  • We will then check their rental history by talking to their previous landlords.
  • Finally, the eviction attorney we have on retainer, his office handles 80% of the eviction case workload in Salt Lake County. We run each applicant through their database. Chances are if you are a deadbeat tenant in Salt Lake, they have heard of you.

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