5 Useful Tips for Landlords on How to Choose Their Tenants

Last updated on September 28, 2023

The main priority for any landlord when choosing tenants is to ensure they have a reliable income source so that they can pay rent every month.

The best way for landlords to determine if their potential tenants have a stable income stream is to ask them for two years of tax returns. This will show the landlord that their potential tenant has already been paying taxes for quite some time and is likely experienced in doing so.

Here are useful tips for landlords on how to choose their tenants.

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Follow the Law

for rent

Before you choose any tenant, be sure to check the laws in your area regarding how much of a deposit you are able to charge and if there are any special ways tenants can be allowed to use their deposits. Also, aim for following the law rather than having increased amounts of money because it is easy to take advantage of new landlords who do not know all of the laws.

You might even want to ask your local landlord-tenant agency about what you should and should not do. It is advisable to read more here and get the right information from property management experts. If the tenant has a pet, be sure to check the laws on that as well. Some properties do not allow pets at all, some charge additional fees for pets, and some require additional deposits for pets.

Choose a Stable Tenant

People who are in steady careers, make enough money to pay rent and afford other necessary monthly bills, do not have criminal records, and take care of their responsibilities tend to be the best tenants. Stable tenants tend to be more reliable and attentive to their responsibilities, which include paying rent and taking care of the property.

If the chosen tenants are reliable and attentive, this cuts down on the number of headaches a landlord will have to deal with. The less trouble a tenant causes, the better it is for both parties. You may even consider a rental concession when it comes to renewing the agreement to keep a good tenant.

Take Your Time and Follow Your Gut Instinct

It can be difficult to tell who will treat your property well, and who will trash it. Sometimes the nicest people turn out to be the worst renters; other times, something about an applicant makes you feel suspicious even though they seem like great tenants.

You need to trust your instincts when choosing a tenant. If you don’t think someone looks trustworthy, there’s a reason why. If you feel like interviewing them is a waste of time, it probably will be. If your gut tells you they’re a bad tenant, or if you realize halfway through the interview that you don’t trust the person, cut your losses and move on to another applicant.

People who are lying to get into your home are not the kind of people you want living there.

Perform a Criminal Background Check

Tenant background is very important. If a tenant has a history of not paying their bills or is known for being involved with criminal activity, you will want to avoid renting to them. This is a great way to save time and money. when choosing tenants. For example, by performing a criminal background check on potential tenants you can learn if they have had any serious violations or multiple arrests for violent crimes like robbery or rape. You can also avoid renting to people with prior evictions or who have filed bankruptcy in the past because these are red flags that they could default on their rental payment.

Choose a Tenant with Good Credit

Landlords want to make sure that their new tenants are reliable. One of the best ways to do this is by checking the tenant’s credit score. If you choose a tenant with bad or no credit, there is a higher chance that they won’t be able to pay on time, which will get your property manager involved and could potentially lead to eviction.

One easy-to-use website to check on a person’s credit score is called FreeCreditReport.com (the only site you can get your free credit report on without having to enter any credit card information). Any landlord should be able to pull up their prospective tenant’s credit score in about two minutes on this site.

The most important tip in choosing a tenant is to do with the person’s ability to pay. It’s difficult, if not impossible for landlords with rental units in poor neighborhoods to pick and choose who they will rent their space to. However, if you have a nice place in an upscale neighborhood then it is important that you establish criteria for creditworthiness and income standards along with several other items such as rental history etc.

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