Checklist for the Tenant Selection Process

By: Don Conrad

Whether you're buying groceries for the family, building a website, or placing tenants in your rental, things seem to go better when you have a way to document your process. Once I discovered that this was true, I decided to start using a checklist to get me through my tenant selection process. I now use this checklist for each and every new tenant that I place in my rentals. This checklist has made my life a lot easier and saved me from missing critical information or skipping an important step.

The checklist I'm about to share with you is designed to be used from the time you meet with the tenant prospects to fill out the application, and continue through the lease signing process. A couple areas may seem unfamiliar to you. If so, please make reference to my book, "How to Find that Quality Tenant", for an explanation. (If you have trouble locating this book, visit my website at )

Checklist: part 1-- This part of the checklist is to be used by you when the applicant fills out the initial paperwork. Do not leave the showing until all required items are checked or verified that they are not applicable (NA).

1. ____Verify driver's license number and picture

2. ____Verify social security number

3. ____Landlord information complete

4. ____Employment information complete

5. ____Credit application filled out completely

6. ____Credit application signed and dated

7. ____Credit monies received

8. ____Employment verification signed and dated

9. ____Cash Flow form filled out

10. ____Cosigner credit check completed, signed and dated

11. ____Cosigner credit check monies received

12. ____ Cosigner cash flow filled out

Checklist: part 2-- This part of the checklist is for when you are at home or in the office, and are processing the applicant's paperwork. Do not rent to the applicant until all required items are processed.

1. ____Check rental history

2. ____Check employment history

3. ____Check personal references

4. ____Check credit

5. ____Check cash flow

6. ____Run criminal background check

Checklist: part 3-- This last part of the checklist is to be used at the lease signing. This is your last chance to get everything signed and organized the way you want it before the tenants take over your property. Don't neglect using the checklist on this step.

1. ____Rules and regulations initialed and signed

2. ____Fire extinguisher use and maintenance reviewed

3. ____Smoke alarm use and maintenance reviewed

4. ____Tenant given lead-based paint pamphlet

5. ____Lead-based paint form signed and dated

6. ____Property condition form signed and dated)

7. ____Photos/video taken

8. ____Additional/missed information verified

9. ____Tenant received Important Contact form

10. ____Utilities transferred

11. ____Explained property workings:

a. ____Individual water shutoffs

b. ____Main water shut offs

c. ____All gas shut offs

d. ____Furnace filter change

e. ____Appliances

f. ____All others

12. ____Pet addendum signed and dated

13. ____Cosigner agreement signed and dated

14. ____Copies of photo ID/social security number collected

15. ____All lease items reviewed

16. ____Lease signed and dated by all parties

17. ____All monies received

18. ____Key exchange

19. ____Celebrate

copies of this form can be obtained off my website at

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