The signing of a new lease is a moment of relief for both tenant and landlord alike. Often landlords can rest easy once a new tenant shows serious interest in a property. The signing of a new lease means the security of fixed income over an extended period and the knowledge that the apartment or house you own is no longer a drain on your wallet. Risks are often minimal to a rental property, but landlords know that renting is still a tricky business.

A property owner must consider a number of things before finally handing over the keys. As a landlord, you must find tenants as quickly as possible to ensure a continued return on investment. It’s a lengthy process that involves credit and criminal checks, interviews, and deposits.

Traditionally, this process of tenant screening takes considerable effort and investment, but new tools are becoming more accessible. A tenant screening report is a great way to cut through confusing information and sources to evaluate a future resident clearly and easily. These reports provide financial, criminal, employment, and even prior rental information in an easily digestible format. They tell a landlord how a new tenant will take care of someone else’s property.

Credit and prior rental information are critical for predicting how the rental relationship will go in the future. By uncovering these details, you’ll better understand the likelihood of a default or other financial problems. If you find that an individual has good credit and no prior rental troubles, you can expect that trend to continue into your lease.

A credit score is only one consideration that landlords must make, however. In the past, credit and background checks were written into a potential tenant’s rental contract. Credit reports must be pulled once you progress past the stage of showing a property. But a simple number does not do a person justice, so an interview process apart from simply meeting your renter is helpful.

On top of that, you must consider criminal records. A person previously convicted of some serious offense may now be successfully rehabilitated; however, it’s also possible your future resident is guilty of minor criminal activity and intends to continue along that path. This means you might have a difficult conversation before feeling secure in handing over the keys. Reviewing the information gleaned in a screening report can tell you a lot about a person’s background.

Work history is also an important consideration. You want to be sure the tenant can pay the rent every month. Screening reports provide you with more than the arbitrary answers you may hear during an interview.

If you keep this process in mind, and take all of it just one step at a time, you’ll have no trouble arranging those final meetings and selecting the most agreeable candidate for your rental business. There are tons of great tools nowadays for streamlining this process and bringing you simple, quick answers to those nagging questions you need answering in order to select the perfect tenant.