Property Management Blog

How to Screen Tenants Like a Professional Nashville Management Company

Beverly Browning - Monday, April 18, 2016

For the best results in tenant placement, landlords need to screen tenants as thoroughly as a professional property management company would. We are sharing some tips for how to screen the way we do.


Application Form

Tenant screening starts with a good application form. This application needs to gather pertinent information like name, address, date of birth, social security number, employment and a previous rental history. It’s also a good idea to put your policies on there. Down at the bottom of the form or on the back, you can include requirements for the application fee and the security deposit. Be sure to include the types of payment you’ll accept, whether it’s cashier’s checks, money orders, cash or credit cards. Any exceptions should be indicated.


Before a tenant fills out the application, make sure your policies are clear. If the tenant is asking about pets, include your pet policy. Communicate whether you will allow all pets, or just cats or dogs under a certain weight. If there are aggressive breeds you won’t accept for liability reasons, put that there as well.

Verifying Information

Use a good screening company so you get a credit report that can show you if the tenant pays bills on time. Verify employment and rental history. Check public records for evictions, judgments, bankruptcies and liens. Make sure the company you use completes a criminal screening search. Don’t just check Nashville or Tennessee. Check public records in each county that the person has lived. You’ll want a criminal background from each county.

High Quality Tenants

There isn’t a 100 percent guarantee that you’ll get an ideal tenant, but if you do your homework, you can get a high quality renter. Past history usually repeats itself. People will still go through divorce or get sick and have car accidents or lose jobs; things can happen that put people in a situation they have never been in before. You cannot eliminate all the possible negative events, but you can reduce risk by doing a good background check on very tenant. Don’t use your intuition because there are some con artists out there who are very good.

If you have any questions about doing tenant screening, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Browning-Gordon Property Management.