Indianapolis Property Management
and Investor Services

Indianapolis Property Management Blog

5 Myths About Tenant Screening That May Surprise You

System - Friday, October 21, 2022
Property Management Blog

According to research published in May 2022, 2.7 million US households, on average, face eviction from rental properties each year. The most frequently cited reason for eviction is non-payment of rent. This has a huge impact on both tenants and landlords alike.

Every landlord realizes that getting the right tenant is the most important piece of the puzzle. But there are myths about tenant screening that could put landlords off. 

Let's bust five of the top tenant screening myths so you can find the right tenants for your rental.

What Is Tenant Screening?

Tenant screening is the process used by landlords to find the right tenants for their rental properties. You can handle this alone or let professional property managers handle the search for you. It's very important to follow local and federal laws regarding discrimination and fair housing when carrying out tenant screening.

Myth #1 - You Don't Need The Applicant's Consent

If you run a background check on an applicant in Indiana without getting their express consent, you'll run into problems. Before you run any checks, make sure they have signed a consent form.

Here's the crucial part - if you're going to carry out a background check on one applicant, you need to carry it out on all of them. You can't selectively screen people. This would be discriminatory and is against the federal Fair Housing Act.

Myth #2 - Landlords Pay for Background Checks

If you choose, you are welcome to pay for background checks. But as a landlord, you have the right in Indiana to ask the applicant to pay for these checks. The fee is non-refundable, so will not need to be returned if their application is unsuccessful. There is currently no cap on the fee level in Indiana.

Myth #3 - Tenant Screening Takes Too Long

As a landlord, it's natural to worry about having a vacancy. But in the long run, it will cost you more and cause you more stress to have the wrong tenant. When you work with a property management company, tenant screening may only take a couple of days.

Myth #4 - A Good Credit Score Is Enough

It's great if you can find a tenant with a good credit score, but it doesn't tell you anything about their income. One of our best tenant screening tips is to always ask for proof of income in the form of a recent pay stub. If they earn three times the monthly rent, they should be able to afford the rental.

Myth #5 - Tenant Screening Isn't Important

If you're choosing an ice cream flavor, by all means, go with your gut. But please don't apply the same logic to tenant screening.

As this tenant screening guide has shown, this process helps you to identify tenants who will struggle to pay. You can also avoid tenants with a poor track record of taking care of properties. Tenant screening can protect you and one of your most valuable assets!

Choose HomeRiver Group Indianapolis for Tenant Screening

Avoiding these tenant screening mistakes and myths can help you find a great tenant who will pay and stay.

At HomeRiver Group, we understand Indiana Tenant-Landlord laws. Our tenant screening process ensures that you stay within the law and find the right tenants for your property.

Contact HomeRiver Indianapolis today by calling us at 317.759.0332 or reaching out online.