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Top 7 Ways SmartScreen is Convenient for Property Owners

Each time a property opens up, property owners must confront the same pressing questions:

  • Will this tenant pay rent on time?
  • How can I be sure this tenant is right for me?
  • Has the tenant skipped out on payments?

...Read More.

How to Be a Remote Landlord

Whether you moved out of state but kept a rental property, inherited an out-of-state rental property, or invested in an out-of-state rental property, learning how to be a remote landlord is important. Luckily, there are tools like SmartScreen that allow you to screen tenants no matter where you’re at...Read More.

How To Verify a Rental Applicant's Work History

How uncomfortable would you be if you discovered your new tenant was unemployed? Would you worry they couldn’t cover rent? Most landlords would say yes. In fact, the biggest fear for the majority of independent landlords is rent non-payment, according to a recent SmartScreen survey...Read More.

5 Red Flags that your Rental Applicant Might Stop Paying Rent

But as an independent landlord looking to find great tenants, you must act as your own crystal ball when screening new renters. Every prospective rental applicant you talk to has a different story and situation. It’s up to you to ask the right questions, get the right paperwork, and check a person’s background history to fill in any murky bits.....Read More.

How to Read a Credit Report for Tenant Screening

As a landlord, finding dependable tenants is the key to running a successful rental business. According to a SmartScreen survey, property owners cited non-payment of rent as their number one concern, and for good reason. The last thing a landlord wants is to dip further into their own pockets to pay for a second mortgage or deal with the burden of an unexpected rental vacancy....Read More.

Guide for Landlords How to Do a Credit Check on a Prospective Tenant

Running a credit check on a prospective tenant is a crucial step to consider in the tenant screening process, as it can be the difference between getting a good or a not-so-good tenant...Read More.

How Landlords Can Maximize Rental Income from Rental Properties

The point of renting out property is to make money. However, not all landlords are doing everything they can to improve profit margins. To help maximize rental income, there are several things you can do. These include: always screen tenants with a reputable service like SmartScreen, rent parking spots to tenants, install money-saving items like solar panels, require renters insurance in case of damages, and consider short-term rentals...Read More.

10 Questions That Should Be On Every Rental Application

Finding the right tenant is essential for your rental business success. Sometimes the process can start to feel like a gameshow. There are seemingly endless questions and elimination rounds to go through. Ultimately you need to arrive at a final renter decision: make the right tenant choice and you achieve a good stream of rental income or make the wrong choice and find yourself facing a less than desirable situation...Read More.

Renter Screening Warning Signs That Aren't So Obvious

Most landlords know that credit check and criminal record searches are essential for good renter screening. However, there are many other places that renter red flags can pop up during tenant screening. These less obvious renter warning signs include: asking you to skip screening, wanting to provide you with their own credit report, moving house too frequently, job hopping, long gaps in employment, being in a hurry to move in, and providing missing or inaccurate information. Learn how to better spot these warning signs below...Read More

Including Utilities In The Rent a Good Decision for Landlords?

As a landlord, there are several perks to attract tenants, such as including utilities costs in their rent. Paying for utilities, such as water, electricity, and gas, in addition to rent, can be difficult for some renters, which can narrow your applicant pool. However, while including utilities can help you avoid legal responsibility and cost liability, it can cause issues, such as limited control over who goes onto your property and added hassle if you need to get involved with your tenants. This guide gives the pros and cons of including utilities with rent and how to maximize your rental revenue... Read More.

Upcoming Rental Trends for 2023

While 2022 is winding down, it’s time to look ahead to the 2023 rental trends that are expected to impact property managers. As an independent landlord, it’s wise to be prepared for the following shifts: the number of evictions and cost of rent continue to go up, more people are renewing leases instead of moving, the housing inflation rate is slowing down, and more people are working from home. All of these shifts can be maximized by independent landlords to set themselves up for a better chance of prosperity in the new year...Read More.

15 Tax Deductions for Landlords During Tax Season

When tax season approaches, don’t forget to look for money-save tax deductions for landlords. If you rent out property, you might be eligible for deducting related expenses. Landlords can claim tax deductions for many things, including mortgage and interest payments, insurance premiums, maintenance and repairs, administrative costs and supplies, eviction-related fees, depreciation and losses, travel, professional services, and more...Read More.

Tenant Screening with SmartScreen

As a landlord, owner or property manager, it is in your best interest to lease property to a responsible tenant. A responsible tenant will treat your property respectfully and pay their rent consistently over the life of the lease agreement. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your investment and your income are both protected. To minimize the risk of renting to a bad tenant, landlords and property managers must screen all applicants. Once you’ve set the standards for which your applicant should meet, SmartScreen can help you gather all the information needed to evaluate your potential tenants. Through credit checks and criminal background checks...Read More.

Credit Checks for Landlords with SmartScreen

Credit checks for landlords play an important role in the tenant screening process. A landlord’s goal is to enter into a rental agreement with a responsible tenant who will consistently pay their rent for a certain period of time. In order to find a great tenant, landlords will set criteria that a potential tenant needs to meet. Credit checks have become the norm...Read More.

Tenant Background Check with SmartScreen

It’s essential for landlords and property managers to request a tenant background check for prospective tenants. In order to protect rental income and property, landlords must find tenants who will occupy the property responsibly. This means the tenant must pay their agreed rent each month and treat the premises in a respectful manner. You can avoid the headaches and lost income from evictions and nonpayment by obtaining a tenant background check...Read More.

How to Price Rent in a High Inflation Environment

In times of high inflation, it's essential to stick to the basics when setting a fair market rental rate. To determine the rent, research prices for comparable properties in the neighborhood to get a baseline. Then consider other factors like location, amenities are offered, unit condition, and leasing season to adjust from the baseline rent. When inflation is high, rental markets can vary wildly. It's especially important to track micro-trends in your specific location–not just nationally. This helps you determine what is fair, but not so high that it will turn renters away...Read More.

10 Rental Documents Every Landlord Should Keep on File

In the great feast of life, landlords have plenty on their plate. There’s the meaty task of finding great tenants and the heavy helping of fixing leaky faucets. Throw in the daunting side of avoiding evictions and it’s almost more than an independent landlord can stomach...Read More.

How to Run an Apartment Background Check

Housing is a critical component of the standard of living, and as such, the United States takes its housing laws very seriously, doing their best to ensure most Americans can have access to a warm roof over their heads. Unfortunately, some demographics have a harder time finding a place to live than others; handicapped or disabled individuals are generally protected under federal laws such as the Fair Housing Act (FHA) of 1968 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990... Read More.

How Much Should I Charge for Rent: A Guide to Rental Rates

As an independent landlord, it's important to understand that the key to landlord success begins with setting a rental rate that is not only profitable for your property, but also is competitively priced to attract good tenants... Read More.

How to Calculate Rental Income … the Right Way

Knowing how to crunch the numbers on a rental property can mean the difference between making a successful investment or being burdened with a money pit. Even though the rental market has its ups and downs, you can better predict your chances at success by learning how to calculate your potential return on investment (ROI). INITIAL INVESTMENT...Read More.

7 Steps to Checking a Prospective Tenant's Rental History

The last thing a landlord wants is for a bad tenant to occupy their rental property, as selecting the wrong person could lead to a costly eviction, damaged property, or nonpayment of rent. Finding high-quality tenants should be a landlord’s top priority, and tenant screening is an essential part of the process. According to SmartScreen data, more than 95% of landlords believe that tenant screening is beneficial and helps them to get a higher-quality tenant into their rental unit...Read More.

The True Cost of an Eviction

Evicting a tenant is a landlord’s worst nightmare. It can be a stressful process rife with legal proceedings, work with contractors for repairs and maintenance, and the threat of potential lost income. It’s a last resort, and can be extremely expensive – often costing thousands of dollars and taking weeks to complete. Find out more about the costs to evict...Read More.

The Rise of Fraud in the Rental Industry

The process to apply for a rental unit looks much different than in years past. Rather than meeting with a landlord in person, applicants can send an application online without ever meeting face-to-face. While this convenience can provide landlords with a larger pool of applicants, it can come with a few drawbacks—most notably, fraud...Read More.

4 Things Landlord Should Know to Save Big During Tax Season

Tax season is upon us, and if you own rental real estate, then you may have a federal tax responsibility to report all rental income on your tax return. The IRS defines rental income as “any payment you receive for the use or occupation of property”, and may include... Read More.

How to Read a Credit Report for Landlord Tenant Screening

As a landlord or property manager, the decision of whether or not to rent to a potential tenant can bring up many questions. The main question is whether a new tenant will pay their rent on time, but you might also wonder whether they could pose a security threat. This is where tenant screening comes in...Read More.

Tips on How to Avoid These 5 Rental Scams

Your applicant looks like Little Red Riding Hood on paper, but how do you know for sure they’re not really the Big, Bad Wolf? It might not be fun or fair, but the truth is that rental scammers are out there, waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting landlords. If you don’t know how to recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing, then you might just become lunch... Read More.

Tenant Screening: A Cost Benefit Analysis

As an independent landlord, a huge chunk of your rental income can be put at risk due to property damage, tenant turnover, extended vacancies, and non-payment of rent. Luckily, most of the risks that you encounter along the way can be reduced by running a comprehensive tenant background check... Read More.

Americans Have " Little to No Understanding" of Credit Scoring According to SmartScreen Study; May Negatively Impact Renters Applying for a Property

When the time comes to rent out your property, it is critically important to know the credit scores of your applicants. Why? Because having knowledge of your applicants’ credit history and how that history is calculated is crucial in selecting a reliable and responsible tenant.... Read More.

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