A good screening process in stages

First Contact
A potential tenant calls you for more information about the property and the lease. Ask some pre-screening questions to save time.
The Showing
If First Contact questions are good; schedule an apartment showing to meet the potential tenant(s) face-to-face for the first time.
The Application
The potential is still interested and no red flags went up during The Showing. Make sure that in the rental application, they provide references from prior landlords and employers. And always run a credit report and criminal check.
Approval Process
There are still no red flags. Time to accept him or her and decline other applicants. However, until there is a signed lease, the process isn’t complete.
Lease Signing
Both parties are ready to sign a legal document – the lease agreement. Make sure to throughly review the lease to make sure all the rules are completely understood.
Remember, even at this point, if a red flag comes up, it’s not too late to stop the signing process or to rip up the lease.