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As a part time property manager of my own units, I often find myself struggling to sort through the mess that is the new tenant screening process. Usually to make the most efficient use of my time, I would host an open house on the rental property so that if any prospects were interested, he or she could by at the scheduled time. This has saved me a tremendous amount of time as I don’t need to do the “let’s check my schedule” dance. However what bothers me most is not so much meeting new prospective tenants but rather sorting through incomplete applications and missing documents and verifying that all information is correct; which brings me to the point of the perfect tenant applicant.
The perfect tenant applicant will show up at the open house with the renter’s resume, sealed inside a manila envelope. This resume includes the tenant’s information such as name, social security number, current address, back account numbers, and known references. The applicant will also have a copy of his or her driver’s license, two recent paystubs, and a recent credit report that has the credit score printed on it. Included in this package will be his / her room mate’s information as well.
When I see a prospective tenant like that, I automatically know that a) this tenant is well organized, so I trust my rental property will be kept in same manner, and b) that this prospective tenant has well intentions to rent. Most landlords require the same credit report and the same applicant information, so it delights me when a perfect prospective tenant comes prepared even before stepping foot in the door.
The very last thing I would want to do as a property manager is to create more work for myself, ie. chasing down missing documents and reassembling a tenant’s application with fragmented emails. So when you as a landlord or property manager are comparing multiple applicants, it’s not hard to decide between two or more applicants when there’s one outstanding applicant who has got all his paperwork together, sealed in a manila envelope, ready to go. Without the constant nagging of “did this applicant provide x information”, this perfect applicant simply takes all the guesswork out of processing and ultimately, on having to decide on who you’d want to rent your property out to.