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When I first started in okc property management, it was very tempting to rent to the first person who turned in an application for a property.

I made a ton of mistakes.  I learned the hard way.

What can you do to know that you’re getting a good tenant for the property?

I learned some simple things about OKC tenant screening.

It all starts with having the right information.

You can see our on-line application by clicking her:

There are many things that we key on as part of the application.  I’ll present that in this article.

Property management companies like OKC Home Realty Service have a system for OKC tenant screening that we’ve developed over years.  The first step in that process is that prospective tenants fill out an application.  We then screen the application to get a person’s life financial picture on paper.

Here are the most critical items that we key on:

1. What does their criminal background show?

It’s fairly easy to check their criminal background.  We have a really good website here,  You can go in and punch in someone’s name or social security number and it will tell you what run-ins they’ve had with the criminal system in Oklahoma, or court actions that have been filed against them.

For prospective tenants who are moving from out of state, we run the tenant’s credit.

Do we deny felons?  Not without taking a close look at the situation.  It depends upon how long ago the offence occurred.  It depends upon what the offence was.

I just got done looking at an application and this individual had a felony in the last year.  Could this person have turned their life around?  Maybe.

But it was too much of a risk.  There’s absolutely no way that we’re going to rent to that person because they didn’t have a long enough track record we could verify.

We didn’t need to have turnover right away.

2. What is the take-home income over the last year?

We also require that our applicant’s take home pay be three times the rent.

Frankly, this is one rule for OKC tenant screening that your do not want to bend.

Not only that, we want to make sure that they have a way to pay the rent that they’re saying they want to commit to paying.

We require written documentation of the income.

3. Landlord Reference.  What is the last year of rental history?

We take a look at how they’ve performed over the last year in terms of being a renter.  That is, have they paid the rent on time?

4. What is the Credit Score?

Sometimes we’ll run credit, but not always.  It depends on what type of property it is.

If we are renting a low price property, we may not run credit.  If it’s a high priced rent ($900 per month plus), we almost always will.

What are some of the warning signs that it’s time to get rid of a tenant?

Sometime, the OKC tenant screening system doesn’t work.

You end up with a tenant that’s behaving badly.

For example, when the rent isn’t getting paid…and it becomes a habit…it’s time for the tenant to go.

If get excuses as to why the rent is going to be late…it’s time for the tenant to go.

Tenants will test the water to see what kind of response they get from the property management company.  Part of that is to see whether or not they can get away with being late on their rent.  It’s the property management’s job to stop that behavior in its tracks.

Already they’re trying to break the rules and get special treatment and just make things hard for us.   As soon as I start seeing that,  we’re going to make it hard for them.  We’re going to let them know what the rules of the payment system are.  And, if they don’t abide by the rules, we’ll file on them.

In addition, some tenants tear up the house.  Our maintenance guys are trained so that if they see something that doesn’t look right in the property, it will show up on the maintenance checklist they turn in for the service call.  In other words, we have a system for catching problems of that nature.

We strongly recommend having at least an annual maintenance inspection.

During the maintenance inspection, we also change out the filter on the heat and air system.  A lot of times tenants will not change out filters and that can cause serious problems for the heat and air units.  It’s a little balance between not spending too much of the client’s money on sending people out to the property to do things versus saving money in the long run catching problems like that.  We do have those that we have set up periodically and we feel like one year is adequate.

One of the biggest lease violations is having an unauthorized pet, such as a pitbull.  If they have an unauthorized dog like that, we will get them out of the property.

Do you want assistance in making sure you get a solid tenant?  We can help with OKC property management.