Property Management Blog


Credit Checks and Other Useful Tools for Landlords in San Diego, CA to Screen a Tenant

Credit Checks and Other Useful Tools for Landlords in San Diego, CA to Screen a Tenant

Did you know that San Diego is one of the most competitive rental markets in Southern California? Of the rental properties in the city, roughly 96% are occupied. When a property becomes available, it only stays on the market for about a month.

With so many renters in SoCal, it is hard to find reliable tenants. A steady stream of investment revenue depends on quality renters who pay on time.

Read on to learn how a tenant background check can improve your odds of finding good tenants. Explore credit checks and other useful tools to improve your tenant screening process.

What Is a Tenant Background Check?

Property managers perform background checks on all rental property applicants. The objective is to weed out applicants with red flags.

For example, you may not want to rent to a person with a violent criminal history. Applicants with a drug history are also undesirable as they have a higher likelihood of polluting the local community.

These are just a few examples. With demand so strong for rental properties in San Diego, you may decide to rule out any applicant with a rap sheet.

Why Should You Run a Credit Check?

In addition to a background check, it is also wise to check an applicant's credit history. A credit report will tell you whether the applicant made on-time payments.

You can review the applicant's accounts like credit cards, auto loans, and other lines of credit. Has the applicant established themselves as a person who meets the obligations of a loan?

Also, you can gauge whether the applicant can afford your rental property. You can see their debt-to-income ratio and whether adding a new fixed expense is feasible.

What Are Other Checks?

The tenant screening process goes well beyond criminal background and credit checks. Good property management companies will scour public records. They will see if the applicant has been evicted before or went through foreclosure proceedings.

Rental history is another important factor to consider. You should contact the applicant's former landlord to perform investigative research. Here, you can see whether the prospective tenant was disorderly, made on-time payments, or was behind any problems at their former residence.

Employment history is one of the most essential considerations. A tenant with a stable job history is more likely to pay the rent and follow the rules. It would constitute a red flag if the tenant cannot keep a job.

With more than 52% of the San Diego population renting, it is crucial to do your homework. No check should be off the table in your pursuit to find high-quality tenants.

Your Guide to Tenant Screening in San Diego

You are now ready to start screening your prospective tenants in San Diego. A good property management company can perform a deep dive into an applicant's past for you.

Harland Property Management has been performing tenant screenings in San Diego for nearly two decades. If you want to start running tenant background checks on your applicants, contact us today to speak with an expert.