Mark Roemer image of a cartoon person reviewing potential tenants

The Importance of Tenant Screening

I, Mark Roemer, know that landlords and tenants have had conflicts since the first renter walked into the first rental home. This fight extends back to the earliest days of tenants and rentals, whether over the tenant’s behavior or the conditions of the rental agreement. This dilemma has troubled landlords for millennia, from the dilapidated tenements in ancient Rome to the clapboard boarding houses in the old west and today’s apartment buildings.

No matter if you’ve been in the game for years or are just getting started, as a landlord, you’d be wise to address this issue before it becomes a problem. Even if you reside in one of the top cities for landlords, now is the best time to vet your tenants meticulously. You may wonder how this is possible. The answer is straightforward: vetting!

You can ensure that your prospective tenants will be as trouble-free as possible before they even move in by using a range of technologies created for this goal. During the vetting and screening process, you’ll be able to choose whether or not you want to work with a particular renter in the long run.

So, why is tenant screening so crucial, and what is the best way to go about it without invading your tenants’ privacy? This is the topic we’ll be talking about today; hopefully, your questions will be answered, and you’ll walk away with a better understanding of what screening is, why it’s necessary, and how to do it. Let’s get started!

What is the purpose of tenant screening?

Before we get into the screening procedures, we need to clarify one thing: what precisely is screening? Screening is, in theory, pretty straightforward. When renting out a house, most landlords will have many potential tenants to pick from; the screening procedure is just deciding which of those renters to accept residency.

Screening, on the other hand, is a little more difficult in practice. There are numerous scenarios for which you will need to prepare. Even if everything goes according to plan, you’ll need to know how to predict prospective tenants’ behavior and traits efficiently and effectively.

What is the significance of tenant screening?

You may still be perplexed as to why screening prospective tenants are so critical. If you’re a novice landlord with little experience, you might not realize how vital this stage is while trying to locate tenants for your rental. Continue reading if you’re still wondering why tenant screening is so critical.

Prospective tenant screening is necessary for a straightforward reason: to avoid the problems that come with having bad tenants. While there are various options for dealing with a problematic renter, the simplest and most effective solution is to avoid having them as a tenant in the first place. You’ll be able to prevent this issue altogether if you conduct thorough screening.

How to Identify Potential Tenants

Congratulations: you’re one step closer to having an uncomplicated and carefree life as a landlord if you’re on board with the idea of screening your prospective tenants. However, you may still be unsure what the screening process comprises and how to execute it most successfully without invading your tenants’ privacy.

In this part, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what you’ll need to do to avoid renting to a problematic tenant. The methods outlined here aren’t meant to be comprehensive; instead, they’re a collection of pointers that will help you get a decent notion of where to begin your tenant screening process. Let’s get started!

Check On Every Applicant

Before inviting a tenant to view the rental property, you should learn everything you can about them. Request a photo of their driver’s license or identification card, and then do some research. Look up their credit history, tax payments, and any other publicly available information. Please don’t go too far; get a sense of their financial background.

It’s also permissible to request references from prior landlords so that you’re aware of anything that isn’t public information. A connection from one or two of their previous landlords will go a long way toward establishing that they are the persons they say they are and that they aren’t masking any personality flaws.

Schedule Interviews

It’s time to start organizing interviews when you’ve got a decent understanding of how the prospective tenants have prospered in the past and weeded out any troublesome entrants. Schedule a convenient time for both you and the prospective tenant to see the flat and have a friendly talk.

You can ask them fair questions about their past and present during this interview, such as where they work, their financial condition, and whether or not they’re willing to follow the terms of your rental agreement. This shouldn’t take long, and it shouldn’t be painful. After all, it’s only a chat!

Talk Business

After speaking with a few possible tenants in person, you’re likely to know which one you’ll choose. You’ve weeded out any potentially problematic tenants, leaving only upstanding, unassuming individuals. You’ll have discovered the ideal tenant or tenants if you’ve followed all of the steps correctly.

It’s now time to start talking about leases and rent. If they don’t want anything ridiculous, you may need to negotiate your conditions. Once you’ve agreed on a set of terms that you’re both comfortable with, all you have to do now is sign the rental agreement and start your tenancy!


A landlord’s life is rarely monotonous. No matter how thoroughly you vet your tenants, unexpected events are sure to occur. However, by employing a thorough screening process, you can eliminate most of these risks in one fell swoop. Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or just getting started, tenant screening is necessary! You could always find a real estate agent in your neighborhood and have a quick talk over coffee if you need some guidance from someone with a little more knowledge on how to screen your tenants properly? Real estate brokers must also screen their clients, and they will almost certainly be able to provide you some helpful advice. I, Mark Roemer, wish you the best of luck with your tenant screening!