In the current tough economic times, more and more people are opting to rent as opposed to property acquisition. This is fantastic news for landlords and property owners. Given that an increasing number of people are opting to lease, it means that from a statistical point of view, the number of problematic tenants is on the ascendancy.

Economically unsound and anti-social tenants, however, can cause a real nightmare to property owners, which is why a thorough tenant screening process is very much recommended. Thanks to their expertise and experience in tenant screening, estate agents can be of valuable help to landlords in this regard. Here are five ways employed by estate agents to sort out good and bad tenants from the onset.

Employment history

By asking the working background of a prospective tenant, an estate agent can establish their trustworthiness to a certain extent, in addition to discovering whether their present monthly earnings is probably adequate enough to pay off the monthly rental fees. If an individual has any protracted periods of joblessness, or shifts regularly from one occupation to another, it can be sensible discovering why. Additionally, estate agents can also request for a letter from the present employer to verify earnings and occupation details.

Financial statements

It is normal practice for estate agents to ask for recent banking statements usually for the last three to six months in order to further verify both the incomings and outgoings of a potential tenant, as well as substantiate that any occupational information revealed is truthful.

Contact details for former landlords

A list of addresses and contact details for former landlords as well as a short and precise outline of the occupant's reason for relocating and a review of the rental fee paid can prove the genuineness of a potential tenant. Watch out for any spaces in rental history, or any absent landlord contact information from a rental application. Information from past landlords will reveal the character of the potential tenant and help to make the right tenant decision.

Personal references

Similar to employment interviews, potential tenants should also provide personal references with at least two referees, duration of their relationship, the nature of their association as well as their contact information, including physical address and a phone number.

Credit history

Last but not least, performing a credit evaluation on a potential tenant can disclose all manner of information regarding their economic past. Estate agents should be watchful of any late or missed payments and a bad overall credit rating. Agents should also consider whether the prospective tenant has any present debt. If they have huge outstanding debts, chances are that they could stop paying rent in order to service the debts, even if they earn a reasonable income.

For more information, check out companies such as Beercock Wiles & Wick.