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Property Management Blog

Why Is Tenant Screening Essential for Landlords in Vancouver?

Chris Barber - Friday, May 5, 2023
Property Management Blog

As of April 2023, the average rent in Vancouver, Washington for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,500, which has increased by 8% since last year. Even though renters might not be happy about this development, property owners and landlords like you definitely are.

But that still doesn’t mean that you will have a free flow of rent coming your way without any interruptions or issues. To make that happen, you need to do proper tenant screening before letting renters into your property.

Read on to find out more about the benefits of doing a tenant background check before signing a lease with them.

Ensure Your Tenants Can Afford to Pay High Rents

The most important thing you want to do is a credit check and call the tenant’s references to ensure the tenant can afford the rent your properties charge. Either they should have a job that allows them to pay the rent or be supported by a family who is rich enough to pay rent on their behalf.

The latter might be the situation for international students who have wealthy parents back home and might not have a credit history in the United States yet. They have the means to pay rent despite the lack of credit or income.

Checking through past bank statements or income slips for potential tenants should give you an idea of their financial capabilities.

Figure Out What Their History Is to Avoid Future Problems

Contact all past landlord references provided by the tenant. Don’t skip this step.

It’s easy to tell yourself you are too busy to do this important check. But not doing it could come and bite you in the behind down the road.

Ask the previous landlords what the tenant’s payment history was like and what kind of tenants they were.

Were they quiet or not? Clean or dirty? Always asking for one thing or another or pretty low-maintenance?

Don’t Let Rigidity Get in the Way of Your Profits

Your tenant background check might show you that the tenant in front of you isn’t a good fit for you. But if your gut instinct tells you to go for them, it’s not a bad idea to follow your gut.

You have probably spoken to dozens if not hundreds of tenants in the past, especially if you have been in business for a while. So if your gut tells you to trust a tenant, then do it. Be flexible in this regard.

Tenant Screening: It Takes Work but It’s Worth It

It isn’t easy being a landlord or property owner in Vancouver since the rental laws are so much more favorable towards tenants than landlords. You may want to tread with caution when performing tenant selection.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t do a tenant screening at all before deciding to rent to someone. It’s better to screen someone out before they become tenants, rather than try to kick them out once they are already in a rental contract with you.

Need property management services in Vancouver, WA? Contact us to find out how we can assist.

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