Tenant Screening in Tampa, Florida for Rental Owner Success

Tenant screening is one of the most important steps in operating a successful rental property in Tampa, Florida. Checking the financial, background, and rental history of your applicants can play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation and long-term success of your property.

Why is Tenant Screening Important in Tampa, Florida?

Although there are multiple aspects of the Tampa property management process that contribute to the smooth sailing of your property, effective tenant screening is a crucial factor for success that cannot be overlooked.

Failing to screen your tenants can have an incredibly negative impact on your rental property investment and your rental income. Our #1 tip for finding tenants is to prioritize the right tenant, not the fast tenant.

Your Tampa rental property is a valuable investment; would you want just anyone living there? If you answered no, then we recommend only approving a tenant who is responsible, financially healthy, and has a proven track record of being a quality tenant.

Tenant Screening Tips in Tampa Florida

What Can Happen If You Don’t Screen Your Tenants?

One of a property owner’s worst nightmares is having a tenant who is inconsistent with their rent payments or, even worse, fails to pay rent. To be sure your tenant possesses reliable financial health and is clean of any eviction history, screening processes such as checking credit history, debt to income ratio, and nationwide eviction search are vital.
Failure to pay rent is not only inconvenient and bothersome, but can significantly affect your income and profits. If you rely on your rental property income, late rent payments may hinder your ability to take care of your own expenses such as your mortgage payments or HOA dues. This can lead to further and more serious issues such as late fines or foreclosure; two things no rental homeowner wants to worry about.

Tenant screening processes will ensure your tenant has no history of late or failed payments, which will have a significant impact on the success of your success as a rental owner.

Eviction & Vacancy – Which Can Lead to Loss of Rental Payments 

When your tenant fails to pay rent on time you must serve them with a three or seven-day notice to cure or quit. This notice is the first step towards the eviction process. Although you don’t want to deal with an eviction, if your tenant does not pay on time it is necessary.

As if eviction is not enough of a stressor, you’ll have to find a new tenant to fill your vacancy. On top of the cost of eviction, your vacancy can lead to months of no rental income — depending on how long it takes to find a tenant. 

If your first tenant was not screened, we highly recommend screening all applicants going forward. You may find that screening your applicants prolongs the process of filling your vacancy, however, finding the right tenant will make all the difference in the success of your rental property. 

A tenant with proven rental success, a good credit score, and a clean eviction history is less likely to default on rent.

How To Screen Your Tenants in Tampa, Florida?


Tenant screening includes a variety of processes that investigate the financial, criminal, and rental history of your applicants. All of these processes ensure your tenant is financially stable possesses the ability to pay rent, does not pose a threat to your community, and has not been evicted from a previous rental.Tampa Florida Tenant Screening

1. Credit History Check

A credit check will check the applicant’s credit history. A credit report shows whether or not an individual tends to pay bills on time or not. A poor credit can foreshadow the tendency to pay late rent, or not at all. 

2. Debt to Income Ratio Check

Checking a tenant’s debt-to-income ratio is another tenant screening process that looks at an individual’s ability to pay rent on time. A debt-to-income ratio is monthly debt payments divided by gross monthly income. 

If your monthly payments plus your rent payment are more than or too close to your gross monthly income, you may not have sufficient funds to cover all of your expenses. 

3. Nationwide Eviction Search

A nationwide eviction search will check eviction records to see whether or not your tenant has been evicted from a past rental property. A past eviction does not necessarily mean the tenant will default on their rent again, however, it does show that the individual was unable to pay rent in the past.

Some Tampa property management companies will not accept an applicant with a history of eviction. Sometimes, when an eviction happens once, it’s bound to happen again. We recommend steering clear of a tenant who has a history of eviction.

4. Background Check

Did you know that 7% of background checks returned criminal records in the state of Florida? According to floridabackgroundchecks.com, this statistic is substantially higher than the criminal record return rate in other states. 

Before accepting a tenant to live in your rental property, it is essential that you perform a background check to ensure they are clean of any criminal history. In some cases, an individual’s criminal history can show that they may pose a threat to your property or community.

We advise you to perform a background check in your tenant screening process to keep yourself, your investment, and the community safe.

5. Income and Employment Verification

Checking your applicant’s income and employment verification is another requirement that checks whether or not the applicant has a steady income. This ensures the applicant’s steady flow of income and ability to pay rent.

Without an income, employment, or proof of substantial funds, the tenants ability to pay rent is not proven. In the event the applicant does not possess substantial income, you may lose out on your rental income and/or have to deal with the eviction process. 

6. Previous Rental Verification 

An applicant’s previous rental verification will prove whether or not they have been a reliable tenant in the past. If the applicant has previously lived in a rental property, rental verification will check payment history, eviction history, and tenant behavior.

Think of it as your applicant’s resume or report card. If your applicant’s history doesn’t match what you’re looking for in a tenant, they may not be the right fit. This can be one of the most essential tenant screening processes, as it tells you how the applicant has treated a rental property in the past.

Need Help Finding a Quality Tenant in Tampa?

If you are a Tampa rental property owner having trouble finding a reliable tenant, you’ve come to the right place. At The Listing Real Estate Management, we have years of experience finding qualified tenants for our Tampa rental property owners through our transparent and reliable tenant screening services. 

Some Tampa property management companies will prioritize the Fast Tenant instead of the Right Tenant, but not us. We know the importance of performing in-depth screening processes to ensure your tenant has the means to pay rent, take care of your property, and act as a good neighbor to the community. 

As Tampa rental property managers we receive a handful of applications that do not meet our requirements. We do not accept these tenants as their qualifications are not up to our standards. Accepting a tenant just to fill a vacancy quickly will most likely hinder the success of the properties we manage.

Our complex tenant screening process includes:

  1. Credit history
  2. Debt-to-income ratio
  3. Nationwide eviction search
  4. Background check
  5. Income & employment verification
  6. Previous two years’ rental verification.


In addition, we offer all property management clients our 12-month tenant guarantee. If any tenant screened, approved and managed by The Listing Real Estate Management vacates prior to the end of their 1-year lease agreement we’ll find a new tenant FREE of charge.

Tampa Rental Property Management Tenant Screening

Find a Reliable Tenant with Tampa Property Management Experts

To find a reliable tenant for your Tampa rental property investment, contact us today at The Listing Real Estate Management, your boutique Tampa property managers. 

In addition, click here to get a FREE rental property analysis!

We’re looking forward to working with you, cheers!

Copyright © 2017-2024, The Listing Real Estate Management. All Rights Reserved.

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