A whopping 55% of Chicago residents are renters rather than owners.
While rental property owners in Chicago will always have a long list of applicants, this doesn't mean that all of them are good candidates. The quality of your tenants could make or break your business.
What should every rental property owner in Chicago know about tenant screening? Read on for four crucial tenant screening insights.
1. The Importance of Tenant Background Checks
Tenant background checks are the cornerstone of effective tenant screening. These checks provide you with valuable information about the following:
- A potential tenant's rental history
- Criminal record
- Credit history
By examining these aspects, you can make informed decisions about whether a tenant is a good fit for your property.
A rental history check can reveal if the applicant has a history of timely rent payments. You'll also know if they have a good relationship with previous landlords. This information is crucial in identifying reliable tenants who are likely to pay their rent on time.
Criminal background checks help you determine if an applicant has a history of criminal activity that may pose a risk to your property or other tenants. Credit history checks provide insights into an applicant's financial responsibility and their ability to meet their financial obligations.
2. Complying with Chicago's Tenant Screening Laws
Chicago has laws to protect tenants from discrimination. When conducting tenant background checks, it's essential to ensure that you comply with these laws and treat all applicants the same.
Your tenant screening process should focus on objective criteria related to a tenant's ability to pay rent and maintain the property. Be aware that you cannot discriminate against the following:
- Family status
3. Using Tenant Screening Services
Hiring a professional tenant screening service in Chicago is a smart move. These services have the expertise and tools to conduct thorough tenant background checks. They access databases and records that may not be readily available to individual landlords and provide full reports on potential tenants.
By enlisting the help of tenant screening services, you can save time and ensure that you're getting accurate and up-to-date information on applicants. These services can help you identify any red flags in an applicant's history and allow you to make informed decisions about who to rent to.
Remember that the cost of a tenant screening service is a small investment compared to the potential problems and losses that can arise from renting to low-quality tenants.
4. Navigating the Eviction Process
Even with careful tenant screening, there may be situations where you need to evict a tenant in Chicago. It's important to understand the city's eviction process, which includes specific legal requirements and timelines.
Before renting to tenants, make sure you're familiar with the Chicago eviction laws and regulations. Working with an experienced attorney or property management company can help you navigate the eviction process if it becomes necessary.
Finding Tenants Doesn't Have to Be Stressful
Tenant screening is a vital step in finding excellent tenants for your property in Chicago. By using these tenant screening insights, you can make the rental experience smoother and more successful for both you and your tenants.
Would you like help with tenant screening and other tasks? Contact PMI Windy City to discuss our property management solutions. Our talented team will take your rental property business to new heights.