Sedgwick County has the highest eviction rate in Kansas. As a rental property owner in Wichita, this may not sound like a great statistic. However, rental property owners can protect themselves and reduce their risk of going through an eviction.
By carefully screening tenants, you can sort through the many applicants. This lets you find the best quality tenants that are likely to pay their rent on time and stay long-term.
As a landlord, sorting through a mountain of tenant applications can be time-consuming. The most valuable landlord advice is establishing a set of base screening standards. This helps you sort through applications quickly by disqualifying obviously unqualified applicants.
Doing this also ensures you screen applicants by using a consistent set of standards. This helps you avoid discrimination claims under the federal and Kansas fair housing laws.
Your screening qualifications could include whether the tenant owns pets or smokes. It could also be an income amount that ensures the applicant can afford the rent. They cannot include whether the tenant is married, has children, or is of a specific nationality.
A financial report can give you a better picture of the applicant's financial situation. While Wichita has a low cost of living, your tenant still needs to be able to pay their rent. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with a higher score being better.
A low score could indicate that the applicant is not financially responsible. Tenants who consistently pay late or default on credit are likelier to do the same with their rent.
Tenant Background Check
Tenant background checks offer insight into an applicant's legal history. The background check will alert you to a possible criminal record. It could also reveal any legal proceedings involving the tenant that could impact their ability to pay rent.
Criminal records should not automatically disqualify an applicant. Some landlords disqualify applicants with recent criminal histories. These typically include criminal charges that present a risk or danger to the property or neighbors.
A property management company can help you run credit and background checks on applicants. This is part of a more comprehensive tenant screening service offered.
Your goal as a landlord should be finding great tenants that want to stay long-term. A rental history will tell you how long the tenant typically stays. If the tenant moves every year, they will likely move again in a year.
You can also contact previous landlords to find out how the applicant was as a tenant. This can give you insight into how the tenant left the property or if they paid their rent on time.
Improve Your Tenant Screening Process
Sedgwick County's high eviction rate may raise concerns for rental property owners in Wichita. There are proactive steps you can take to mitigate such risks. Credit and background checks provide information about applicants' financial responsibility and background.
PMI Wichita offers comprehensive property management services, including tenant screening. Property owners can protect their investments from potential eviction risks.
Contact our team and let our experienced property managers screen your rental applicants.