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Tenant Screening – What all Property Managers Need to Know

Tenant screening is an important and sometimes overlooked part of attracting and maintaining excellent occupants for your multi-family dwelling.  As the premier real estate agent for apartment buildings for sale in the Lower Mainland, I would like to share with you some questions that should be included in your tenant screening process and why each of these questions is important to your multi-family housing.

Credit Profile Report

A credit profile report is an important vetting process because it identifies applicants with low scores based on past payment history and unbalanced credit-to-debit ratios.  This can be a red flag for any tenant as they may have difficulty paying rent on time each month.

Criminal Record and Background Check

A criminal record and background check should be a part of any tenant screening process as you do not want tenants with a violent past living in your building.  Take the time to do a thorough check and then it is up to you or your property manager to make a final decision.


A shoplifting charge is a lot different than an assault charge.

Employment Verification

Although employment patterns have drastically changed over the past 50 years, it is still critical to verify current employment.  Accurate employment information provides you with data as well as a point of contact in case that a tenant does not pay rent.

This contact number also allows you to see if that prospective tenant is on good terms with their employer and to see if there has been a history of past terminations or multiple jobs in a short period of time.

Past Address History

Past addresses can provide more details about financial habits, work history as well as landlords and prior living arrangements.  This history will help you to complete a thorough and well -rounded background check and allow you to gain a better understanding of any potential tenant.

Here’s the Deal:

A 7 – 10 year window should be a good range and give you all of the information that you need to base a decision on.

Eviction reports

Evictions should be a definite red flag when it comes to screening any tenant, especially if there are multiple evictions.  Make sure to take your time and review each eviction case by case.  A single eviction over a long history should not disqualify any tenant, especially if the eviction occurred because of the following:

  • Personal illness.
  • Death of a loved one.
  • Job Loss due to unforeseen circumstances.

All of these are important factors that need to be included in any thorough tenant screening. If you are looking at attracting and retaining tenants for your multi-family dwelling, finding the right tenants is the first step.  Take your time with the process and always trust your gut-feeling when it comes time to make your final decision.  If you would like more information on tenant screening and are interested in some of the new and exciting apartments and multi-family homes available, please contact me today.