How to Screen Subtenants Effectively

Renting out your property can be tricky. You always want to make sure that the people you’re renting to are qualified and that they will take good care of your property. That’s why it’s so important to screen your subtenants effectively. Read on to learn the dos and don’ts of tenant screening so you can make an informed rental decision.

Collect Information from the Subtenants

It’s important to get as much information from your prospective subtenants as you can. Ask them to provide their name, address, phone number, and social security number. You should also ask for their driver’s license or state ID. You want to make sure they’re being honest and that they have valid identification.

Check Employment History

When looking for viable subtenants, you should ask for a letter of employment from their current employer. This will tell you that the person is employed and that they’re making enough money to pay rent reliably. You should also call the employer and verify the information the prospective tenant has provided.

Check Credit History

It’s important to check the credit report of any prospective tenant. This will tell you if the person is responsible with their money. This is especially important if you’re considering a subtenant who has no rental history. Checking their credit report will tell you if they’re reliable with their finances.

Inquire About Previous Contexts

It’s important to ask for references from previous landlords. This will give you an indication of how the tenant has behaved in the past and if any previous property owners have had problems with them. You should also ask for letters of recommendation from their current or former employers.

Conduct a Background Check

You should always conduct a background check on any prospective tenant. Make sure to look for any criminal history and check for any violations or serious incidents. This will tell you if the person is a risky tenant or not.

Conduct an Interview

Interviews can go a long way in helping you get to know the prospective tenant. Ask them questions about their rental history, their job and lifestyle. The interview will give you an idea of whether they are responsible and reliable or not.

Verify Income and Document Rental Agreement

Make sure you verify the tenant’s income level and document the rental agreement. This will tell you if the tenant can afford the rent and you’ll have legal documents in case of any disputes. This will ensure that you’re protected in case of any problems.

Check references

You should also check references from the previous rental contexts. This will tell you a lot about the tenant’s behavior and if they’ve had any problems in the past.

Investigate Local Laws

It’s important to investigate local laws before renting to a tenant. Make sure you understand the rights of tenants and landlords in your area and know who is responsible for what.

Trust Your Gut

No matter how thorough the background checks are, at the end of the day, it all comes down to trusting your gut. Your intuition can be a powerful tool in making the right decisions. So pay attention to the warning signs if they’re present and if a tenant is giving you vibes that make you uncomfortable, maybe it’s best to deny the application.


Screening subtenants is an important part of the rental process. Make sure to collect all relevant information from your prospective tenant, check their credit history, conduct a background check, verify income, document the rental agreement, and investigate local laws. Also, trust your intuition and use your gut feeling if something doesn’t seem right. Following these steps will ensure that you make an informed rental decision and that you pick the tenant who is the best fit for your property.

What types of background checks should I run on potential subtenants?

1. Credit Check: A credit check provides an overview of the potential subtenant’s financial history and shows whether or not they are likely to pay rent on time.

2. Criminal Background Check: A criminal background check gives you insight into the individual’s criminal past and helps ensure they don’t engage in illegal activities in your rental property.

3. Employment Verification: Verifying the potential subtenant’s employment status assures that they will have a steady source of income to pay rent.

4. Identity Verification: This background check helps you confirm that the individual applying is who they say they are.

5. Rental History Check: A rental history check shows how the potential subtenant has maintained their previous rental properties. This information can provide insight into whether or not they would be a good fit for your rental.

What questions should I ask potential subtenants before running a background check?

1. How long do you plan to stay with us?

2. What is your employment history?

3. Do you have any pets?

4. Have you ever been evicted?

5. Do you have any criminal history?

6. Do you intend to smoke in the rental unit?

7. What is your current credit rating?

8. Do you have any references we can contact?

9. Are you familiar with landlord-tenant laws in this state?

10. Are you able to provide a security deposit?

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