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The importance of thorough tenant screening

Have you ever wondered why some property owners/managers require personal information such as credit reports and a personal background check on ALL people over the age of 18 and some don’t require much at all?

Why do some landlords require references, personal and past landlord information and request income verification while others are more relaxed and satisfied with just meeting you?

Often it can be a tell-tale sign in the difference between a DIY (do-it-yourself) landlord and a professional property management company like Real Property Management Campanas.

As one of the leading property management companies in San Antonio, Real Property Management Campanas performs a thorough tenant screening of prospective tenants to avoid problems in the future such as late rent, damage to the property and evictions.

Why are background checks so important for our neighborhoods and communities? Without thorough screening, criminals can easily move in next door completely undetected, potentially putting families at risk.

Real Property Management Campanas uses the following process:

  1. Verifying income
  2. Verifying rental history, checking references and previous landlords
  3. Conducting credit check
  4. Conducting criminal background check

These checks are just part of the process and system that a professional property manager will have in place before they consider leasing to a potential tenant. It is not an emotional decision for the professional manager because it’s a business decision. The property manager knows the importance of the screening process which most likely yields a good, quality tenant who will take care of the home, pay their rent on time and not be a risk to the neighborhood.

A common problem many DIY landlords face is not having the essential resources or knowledge for properly managing their rental property. Understanding the many tenant-landlord laws, Fair Housing Regulations and guidelines, knowing what questions to ask and not to ask a potential tenant and where to go to perform criminal background and credit checks can be overwhelming for any landlord.

When a criminal or undesirable person learns their background will be checked, they turn to a property owner who is not so diligent. Because there is no screening process in place and no rental standards, many DIY landlords tend to just listen to their gut feeling about a potential tenant and rent to the “nice couple” with the “clean car” and “fancy clothes”. What they don’t know is that many renters prefer DIY landlords because of their leniency and purposefully avoid professional management companies because they have something to hide, whether it’s bad credit, an eviction, or a criminal background. And because all too often the DIY landlord is caught in the ongoing struggle of paying two mortgages, they can become desperate to find a renter and will often turn a blind eye to red flags like, “Can I pay the deposit in two payments” or “Yes, I have bad credit but it’s because…”. DIY landlords get caught up in the stories, people tug at their heart strings, and it costs them to not follow a process or at least look into these potential tenants from a credit, income and criminal stand point.

A good and professional property manager will consider the applicant on paper first and having high rental standards in place ensures a quality tenant. Income criteria, pet standards, and deposit requirements are a few rental standards that should be set in place and upheld each and every time you need to find a new tenant.

A landlord’s job is not easy, especially for those who live out of state or a significant distance away from their rental home. Many rental home owners are opting to hire professional property managers, like Real Property Management Campanas, because the everyday stresses, like showing a home, rent collection, Fair Housing laws, repairs and evictions are too much to handle.

No landlord purposefully wants negligent tenants or criminals living in their home or endangering their community, but it happens, and it happens more often than we realize, especially among those who are not disciplined about background checks.

About Real Property Management Campanas:

RPM Campanas is a full service property management company. We don’t buy or sell properties but aim to be the best at managing them. Our services include: advertising your property, show your property to potential tenants, finding tenants, screening them and qualifying them, collecting rent, coordinating maintenance and repair, easy and online accounting and reporting systems, and eviction handling. RPM Campanas is a franchise of Real Property Management, which has more than 260 independently owned and operated offices throughout the United States and Canada.


We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

  1. Christine says:

    Great article. However, I would like to add one stage of tenant screening, that I found in the post It is interviewing of prospective tenants. By meeting applicants, property owners can find out more about them as well as their lifestyle. This information will help landlords to chose the most suitable tenant for them.

  2. Warren says:

    That’s why you have to be extremely careful while choosing apt property management. Great article.

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