Authored by - Asha Mathew                                                                                                                                      A sensible and prompt tenant who is well aware of his civic responsibilities is every property manager’s perfect candidate for renting property. Such people aren’t very easy to come by most of the time.Most of the time, you’re just praying that you find someone who doesn’t damage the property or get themselves into legal issues. Thus, a systematic procedure in place to screen the information of prospective tenants is imperative to avoid renting property to people who might cause potential harm.

What to look out for?

An extensive background check would mean a greater probability of finding a good, long term tenant for the property. At Raksha it is an integral part of the tenant finalising process. It is vital to do a basic search and analysis with regard to certain aspects:

  • A background check for criminal records – Raksha seeks support from organisations which professionally do background checks or a visit to the local police station. It might take a little more time but the necessity of this step can’t be emphasized enough.
  • Calls to previous house owners, places of work (current and previous) for verification of details given by a prospective tenant are important. An analysis of previous rental history and job history will give a fair idea of the stability and quality of an individual’s stay.
  • It might not be a great idea to take in a tenant for whom the rent exceeds 30% of total income to family.

Prioritising other aspects

House owners, especially in a culturally diverse country like India, can have their own specifications that need to be checked. In such a scenario, these will need to be prioritised. We have come across specifications which are as common as choice of food (vegetarian, non vegetarian), marital status of the tenant to more unusual ones like affinity to plants and aversion to pets. In such cases, before making these specifications integral to the screening process, we do check with the owners about which of the specifications are negotiable and which are not.

Organisation’s Stand

It might be a robust practice for an organisation to set its own ground rules and policies too about what kind of screening it wouldn’t do in the larger interest of human ethics. Would you humour a house owner who thinks that someone with a certain colour or caste or orientation cannot stay in their house? Questions that an organisation needs to answer for itself before starting the process of tenant screening. At Raksha we do not entertain any requests which include having to discriminate people on the basis of color, caste, sex and orientation.

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