Approving A Tenant

April 4, 2018 | By Valon Nik├ži

Approving a tenant for a property can seem like a daunting task at first. While it is a lengthy process, a good tenant can be chosen by following a set of procedures. When a potential tenant is found, he or she should be prescreened with a standard list of questions. After passing the prescreening, the candidate should be met in person to learn more. Documentation, like the candidate’s credit report and background, should be obtained to ensure the candidate is a safe choice. Once a candidate is chosen, he or she should be contacted and sent the lease to sign as soon as possible. By carefully following procedures and taking proper precautions, a good tenant can be found for a property.


One should begin building an idea of a potential tenant at the first encounter. The candidate should be asked prescreening questions to determine if he or she is serious about renting the property. Topics that should be discussed include the candidate’s reason for moving, the time frame for moving, and willingness to submit to a background check. The prescreening will allow one to rule out unqualified candidates, saving the time required for an in-person meeting. The first in-person meeting should be used to learn more about the candidate and layout further steps of the approval process. Be wary of potential problems like a lack of credit history, past criminal activity, or missing parts of residence history. If a candidate has no credit history, it is difficult to determine whether he or she could make the required payments. A candidate with past criminal activity could be dangerous to the surrounding community, and must be handled with care. Also, a candidate with missing parts of residence history could be hiding a bad relationship with a past landlord, and should be questioned on the matter. The candidate should be informed of further steps in the approval process during the meeting, including requests for additional documentation.

Obtaining the candidate’s documentation is one of the most important steps in the approval process. Documentation will give an official record of the candidate’s history, and can reveal many types of red flags. It should be noted that sellers can refuse a candidate based on criminal history. One of the biggest red flags is if the candidate refuses to share documentation. This is a sign that the candidate has something to hide. Once the candidate has shared documentation and met with the seller, the time comes to decide which candidate to approve. After deciding which candidate to approve, notify that candidate and explain the next steps in the process to him or her. Contact all other candidates and politely decline them. Send the chosen candidate the lease as soon as possible, and set a signing date within the next three days. Scheduling the signing meeting close to the approval lowers the chance of the candidate backing out. During the signing meeting, ensure the candidate understands and accepts all the parameters of the lease. Require the candidate to pay a security deposit and the first month’s rent upfront to ensure that the candidate is ready to pay. Finally, set a move-in and key obtainment date, completing the approval process.