A Quick Guide to Effective Tenant Screening in Poway


Do you want your tenant to pay rent on time, every time?

Are you looking for a responsible tenant who takes care of your property and boosts its value?

If so, we at Halcyon Real Estate believe that investing time and resources in the screening and selection of great tenants is the perfect way to secure your investment. 

Effectively screening tenants can help you avoid problems in the future such as late payments or property damage. This is why, in this guide, we will take you through different steps to screen the tenants so you can land the best prospect for your property.

Know Your Goals

Before selecting any tenant for your property, you must be familiar with the minimum criteria you should expect from a tenant. These criteria will help to select your desired candidate during the screening process. 

Here are some key points to consider when setting your goals:

  • No criminal record 
  • Should have sufficient income
  • A record of paying rent on time 
  • Should not have an eviction history

But you have to keep in mind that your screening solution must abide by the Fair Housing Laws. Failure to do so would leave you liable to legal action.

Draft an Engaging Rental Ad

Drafting an engaging rental advert is essential because it will grab the attention of the prospects you are marketing to. In this case, write a short, engaging, and descriptive ad that will highlight key points of your property.

The headline of the ad should also be engaging and informative to encourage your prospects to click on your ad and learn more. You should also add high-quality photos of your rental property so prospects keep their interest.

When drafting your ad, you should mention any important points in the ad so tenants have a clear idea of your property. Following are some things to add to your ad:

  • Eye-catching headline 
  • Contact information 
  • Monthly Rent and security deposit amount 
  • Rental property photos
  • Property Location 
  • Property amenities 
  • Utilities available 

Ask Your Prospects Pointed Questions

A successful landlord has a series of questions they can ask renters for pre-screening purposes. Their answers will help you filter out some less suitable applicants. This step will ease your task and save you time. 

Here are a couple of example questions to ask your prospects:

  • What is your monthly pay? Consider prospects who make 2-3 times the price of rent.
  • Has ever a landlord evicted you?
  • How many people will live on the property?
  • Do they have any references from other landlords? 


Verify the Prospect’s Information

After collecting all the information from renters, it’s time to verify the information. This is a crucial part of screening applicants. Through this step, you will further shorten your prospect list leaving only the, theoretically, most reliable tenants to consider.

You should consider the following three steps to verify your prospect’s information:

Contact Tenant’s Employer

This is a crucial step in verifying the prospect’s income and employment information. Contact the tenant’s employer and verify the information your prospect gave you. Here are some example questions to ask the prospects employer:

  • Is the tenant an employee of your company?
  • What is the conduct of the tenant?
  • What is the salary of the tenant?
  • Is the tenant working here as a full-time or part-time employee?
  • How long is the tenant working with you?

Check Tenant’s Credit, Criminal and Eviction history

You should also check the tenant’s credit report, eviction, and criminal history. Checking a tenant’s credit history will show you the real state of the prospect’s finances. With this in mind, only select applicants who have a good credit history. 

You should also check the prospect’s criminal history to verify if the person will be safe for your property and its neighbors. Additionally, you should check the eviction report so you can evaluate the applicant’s suitability to rent your property.

Contact Previous Landlords

Contact previous landlords to verify the behavior of your prospect, this can give you a really good impression of what your prospect would be like as a tenant.

So, ask some questions to at least two previous landlords to judge the credibility of the prospect. Here are a few samples of questions, you can ask previous landlords. 

  • Did the tenant responsibly use your property?
  • Did they pay rent on time?
  • How long did they rent your property?
  • Did the tenant damage the rental property beyond normal wear and tear
  • Did the tenant notify you when they want to move out?
  • Was the tenant problematic to other tenants or neighbors?

Craft a Strong Lease

Crafting a strong lease can prevent you and your tenant from any miscommunications. The lease should outline all your policies and clarify them. Also, outline late payments policies so the renter will not disturb you in the future for payments. In this way, you will get rent on time.

Hire A Property Management Company


If you are overwhelmed with the management tasks associated with your rental property. You should hire the services of a property manager. Hiring a property manager means you are free from the majority of your property’s responsibilities and can simply collect your income at the end of the month.

Some of the responsibilities of property managers are to determine rental rates, marketing of the rental property, tenant screening and selection, rent collection, handle legal issues, maintenance, and repair the property.

So, if you don’t want to go with the screening of tenants, marketing of the property, selecting tenants, collecting rents, and handling repair requests so use the services of a property manager.

Bottom Line

Selecting the right tenant is crucial for the success of your rental property. Landing the right tenant will not only reduce any communication issues between you and your renter but also boost your profits.

Following this quick screening guide can help you to select the most desirable tenant who will both be reliable and responsible. But if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact us at Halcyon Real Estate. Our property managers are ready to hear from you and serve you as best they can!