Renewal Screening Checks

Renewal Screening Checks

May 5, 2023, 12:00 am blog-header-image

As a landlord, it's important to make sure your property is in good hands. That's why renewal screening checks are a crucial part of the rental process. Whether you’re just starting out as a landlord or are a seasoned investor, understanding these checks is key to protecting yourself and your property.

In this article, we at Suncastle Properties will cover everything you need to know about renewal screening checks, from what they are and why they're important, to the types of checks available and how to carry them out.

So, if you want to ensure your property is being looked after by trustworthy tenants and avoid any potential issues down the line, read on. We've got all the information you need to make informed decisions and keep your property in top condition!

About Renewal Screening Checks

Renewal screenings are a series of checks conducted by landlords to ensure that their tenants are still suitable to rent their property. These checks are typically carried out when a tenancy agreement is due for renewal, although they can also be done at any other time as deemed necessary by the landlord.

The process of conducting renewal screening checks involves several steps. The first step is to notify tenants that renewal screening checks will be conducted and provide them with any necessary documentation or forms. Landlords then must obtain written consent from tenants before conducting any screening checks. This consent should be obtained in writing and kept on file for future reference.

person in a black blazer taking notes while on the phone

After this, a landlord should collect the necessary information from the tenant. This may include details about their financial situation, rental history, employment status, and any other relevant information. Once the necessary information has been collected, landlords can then carry out the screening checks. These may include credit checks, background checks, and references from previous landlords or employers.

Once the screening checks have been completed, landlords should evaluate the results and determine whether the tenant is still suitable to rent the property. This decision should be based on the tenant's financial stability, rental history, and any other relevant information. Based on the results of the screening checks, landlords can then decide whether to renew the tenancy agreement or terminate it.

Importance of Renewal Screening Checks

Renewal screening checks are an essential part of being a responsible and successful landlord. By conducting these checks on a regular basis, landlords can ensure that their tenants are still suitable to rent their property and that they are complying with all legal requirements.

Here are some of the various benefits of doing renewal screening checks in more detail:

  • Ensures Suitability of Tenants: Renewal screening checks enable landlords to ensure that their tenants are still suitable to rent their property, particularly by checking their financial situation.
  • Identifies Changes in Tenant Circumstances: Renewal screening checks help landlords to identify any changes in their tenants' circumstances that may impact their ability to continue renting the property, such as a job loss.

two people smiling and shaking hands across a desk

  • Maintains Good Relationship with Tenants: By conducting renewal screening checks, landlords demonstrate to their tenants that they are proactive and care about their well-being, which can help foster a good landlord-tenant relationship.
  • Mitigates Financial Risks: Renewal screening checks help landlords mitigate financial risks by identifying potential issues such as a lack of financial stability.
  • Facilitates Better Decision Making: Renewal screening checks provide landlords with the information they need to make informed decisions about renewing a tenancy or finding a new tenant, which can help ensure the continued success of their property investment.
  • Ensures Compliance with Legal Requirements: Some states have legal requirements for certain types of screening checks, and conducting renewal screening checks can help landlords ensure that they are in compliance with these regulations.

What To Check in Renewal Screening?

Renewal screenings are simpler versions of the initial tenant screenings. You will not have to gather as much information as you did the first time. There are three crucial components of the tenant screening process that should be included when renewing a lease:

Income Verification

Income verification is done by providing a W-2 statement, and it demonstrates the tenant's ability to pay rent regularly. With fluctuations in the job market and changes in the economy, a lot of job reshuffling, and the shift to remote work, income verification between leases is even more critical than before.

a bunch of credit cards poking out of a back pocket

Credit Report

Good credit is vital, as it provides an accurate and comprehensive view of the renter's financial habits. Rent reporting is also becoming more popular, as it helps renters improve their credit scores by making on-time rent payments. It’s important to make credit checks a regular part of the renewal screening process since the results can vary between leases.

Court History /Criminal Background Check

Any previous criminal convictions or court history should be part of the renewal screening. While this type of activity may seem unlikely for renters, conducting these checks is a responsibility that should not be overlooked.

Aside from the formalities, a "soft check" should also be performed. Consider your history with the tenant beyond a formal screening. Have they paid rent on time, and have there been any issues with other tenants or their use of the property, amenities, and shared spaces? These should be considered before renewing a lease.

Bottom Line

Conducting screening checks can be time-consuming, especially for landlords who own multiple properties. In such cases, hiring a property management company like Suncastle Properties can alleviate the burden of screening tenants and managing properties.

Suncastle Properties offers a wide range of property management services, including tenant screening, lease renewals, and property maintenance. With our expertise, landlords can trust us to take care of their properties while ensuring a positive rental experience for their tenants.

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