How to tell if your tenant screening is working

We all know (or should know) that if you put the effort in on the front end with your tenant screening that you will be rewarded on the back end when the tenants move out. Here’s a test to see if your tenant screening is really working.

  • 1.       You don’t get excited when someone makes application  (i.e. you aren’t desperate).
  • 2.       You deny at least 10% of applicants (i.e. you aren’t desperate).
  • 3.       You have criteria and stick to them (you don’t bend them to fit the applicant).
  • 4.       Less than 10% of your tenants are late with rent.
  • 5.       Less than 10% of your tenants owe you more than $100 at move-out.
  • 6.       You aren’t worried about meth labs, parties, or kids trashing the unit.

How did you do?  Be honest with yourself.  If you got 5 or better then you are doing great and don’t change a thing.  But if you got 4 or fewer take a good look at your process and make some changes….or hire a good property manager! 🙂

Peter Nelson is President of Full Service Property Management.  Full Service offers a full suite of management and maintenance services for residential property owners in the greater Seattle area.  They can be found at

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