How to Pick Good Tenants

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How to Pick Good Tenants

Picking good tenants isn’t difficult if you know who what to do and conduct a comprehensive tenant background screening.


This is perhaps one of the most important questions that every successful landlord should be able to answer.

While it is true that an entire book could be written on this topic, here is a summary of the key things that all landlords and property managers must be aware of in the tenants selection process:

Here is a list of 10 items that will help you pick good tenants:

  • Avoid Relying Solely Upon Your Gut Feelings.
  • Don’t Blindly Trust Anything Your Applicants Tell You.
  • Always Require Your Rental Applicants to FULLY Complete a Rental Application.
  • You Should Never Allow a Rushed Rental Applicant Pressure You to Make the Wrong Decision in a Hurry!
  • Insist on Conducting a Thorough Tenant Screening Utilizing a Comprehensive, Nationwide Data Source.
  • Reject Applicants that Lie to You About Their Past Track Record.
  • Eliminate Tenant Applicants who have Judgments, Evictions, and Criminal History.
  • Compare the Rental Application with our Tenant Screening Report.
  • Verify Employment/Residence History
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Asset Verification (such as bank statements).

In this economy, you will encounter a lot of rental applicants who have experienced foreclosure and/or bankrupt and many of these applicants can be excellent tenants.  However, you must look for the clues that will tip you off regarding a potentially problematic tenant.  For example, if you see that your applicant has filed for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy but the case was dismissed, this could be a red flag for many possible reasons.  Just be aware that a dismissed bankruptcy petitioner never received a discharge and all of their debts are still outstanding.   Also, be aware that there are many people who have gone through bankruptcy without having any judgments or evictions in their record.  When you see an applicant that has gone through foreclosure which involved an eviction, beware!   This means that the lender had to forcefully remove them from the property.

If you stick with the rules and avoid cutting corners or having pity on an unqualified applicant because they have appealed to your sympathy, you will be able to eliminate nearly all of the bad tenants.

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