Atlanta Tenant Screening: 5 Steps to Find the Best Tenant

Model of a house and a jar of coins that has a plant growing from it

Tenant screening is an essential part of property management, and today we are sharing the 5-step process that uses when screening tenants. We use a system that we call RICCE: Rent, Income, Criminal, Credit and Eviction. Let’s explain a little more what each step really means.


The first step in our tenant screening process is to verify the applicant’s rental history. This means contacting existing or prior landlords and finding out the answers to three questions:

What was the tenant’s payment history like, and were there any late payments?

Did you receive written notice from the tenants about their move out?

Has the tenant taken good care of the property?


Verifying income is the next step in our screening process. The easiest way to verify a tenant’s income is to ask for the last couple of pay stubs. An applicant can fax them or scan and email them to you. When you look at the amount the tenant is earning, you can determine whether that person can afford the home and you can also verify the information listed on the application is correct.


It’s important to conduct a nationwide criminal check on all of the applicants. You want to see if there is any criminal activity in their background, and you want to avoid renting to people who might be dangerous to you and your property.


We run a credit report on all applicants, and we don’t just look at the credit score. We look at the credit history as well and the stories that are told in that credit report. Find out what has happened over the last few years and what the tenant’s current financial situation looks like. You should be looking for collections and judgments and if necessary, call the applicant for an explanation of anything on the credit report that is cause for concern.


We do a courthouse database search to determine if the applicant has been evicted in the past. You can find out if evictions were filed and you can also see if it went all the way through and the tenant had to be forcibly detained and physically moved out of the house.

ATL Tenant Screening

If you follow these five steps – what we call RICCE – you are guaranteed to have a higher quality tenant living in your rental property. If you need help with screening or anything else, please contact us at, and we’d be happy to assist you.

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