Hi landlords ,How can you find good tenants?

Asked by Canadian Investor, Chandler Ginning, Gilbert, AZ Thu May 13, 2010

Because a lot of people who have gone through foreclosuer would be the future tenants , but that means they will not have good credit record, how could you know that they will pay their rents? Thanks

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js2122_71’s answer
js2122_71, , Phoenix, AZ
Mon Sep 17, 2012
You never know for sure if a tenant will pay their rent. Good credit means they are more likely to pay.

I keep reading about people who are in foreclosure because the value of the property went down. Further reading shows that many of these people are still fully employed. I don't get it. The mortgage payment is the same regardless of the value of the property. I believe some people are walking away from their obligations so they can get a better deal elsewhere. Is it the taxpayer's fault that they paid top dollar for the property?
0 votes
Ed Lackey, Home Seller, Sarasota, FL
Fri Feb 17, 2017
Finding good a good renter is like many things... a process.

I like the article on tenant screening by RentPrep

Basically it breaks down into the following steps that the blog post covers.

- Understanding Landlord Legalities
- Setting Your Standards
- Listing Your Rental
- Marketing Your Rental
- Phone Screening (Pre-Screen)
- In-Person Screening
- Rental Application Tips
- Running a Background Check
- Verify Applicant Details
- Selecting Your Tenant
- Legally Denying Tenant Applicants
9 votes
silwiljacma…, Other Pro, San Francisco, CA
Fri Dec 5, 2014
You can never be 100% sure of that! History can be a good indicator for the future but it is never a guarantee that people will behave the same way! You definitely need to run a full background check on your potential tenants. Any bankruptcies will show up, but also the amount of past due payments, total outstanding debt, number of tradelines open and so on.Looking at the details of the credit report should give you a good indication of this person's financial stability. Besides a credit history you should also do a national criminal and eviction check on them. Even if a tenant's credit history looks good, you sure would not want a drugdealer living in your property! These types of background checks are pretty easy to do these days online and often you get the results within an hour or so. I have been using Houserie.com for a while and really like it!
Web Reference:  https://www.houserie.com/
8 votes
Ronda Allen, Agent, Plano, TX
Tue Aug 3, 2010
These days, the tenant is just as afraid that the landlord won't use their rent in order to make the mortgage payment, and they'll be evicted. There is fear on both sides of the leasing process.

The more we know about the 'story' of the folks who are moving in, the easier it is for landlords to determine which folks just hit a rough patch, and which people really are habitually poor at their finances. And, we have ways to draft leases that give the landlord some additional protections and give the tenant a little more incentive to pay on-time and in-full.

Experience in the leasing market gives agents and landlords the ability to think ahead to the 'what if's" and cover those bases in the terms of the lease. Everybody's story is a little different, and there are just a lot more people looking to lease right now, which means the landlords can be a little more picky with who they allow to reside in their properties.

4 votes
SierraSlim, Home Buyer, Sacramento, CA
Thu Jul 1, 2010
My husband and I are one of those going through 'foreclosure' right now that you would probably assume are not good reliable tenants. In truth, after 40 years of marriage, we have NEVER missed a rental payment or mortgage payment -- yet we are now giving our house back to the bank (and will never have missed a mortgage payment when we do so). The housing bubble burst right after we bought our home, leaving us with a $2400 monthly mortgage payment, and a house currently worth $130,000 that we still owe $300,000 on. Because of surgery and illness, I have just retired and have no income. My husband will retire in a few months at 65 because his pension pays him as much as working, so he is hoping to find another job to add income to the pension -- but his chances of finding an additional job at his age in this market are almost nil. We are squeaking by with our mortgage every month by not spending a DIME outside of absolute necessities, but that's a rough way to live, and we have more medical expenses coming that insurance won't fully cover. Our bank refuses to lower our mortgage payments to help us out (and why should they, when we have never missed a payment???). We have no debt, not even a car payment, and our credit -- until we leave our house to the bank -- is stellar.

We are afraid that landlords like you will be unwilling to rent to us because of giving up our home, when you could not FIND better tenants than we would be, who take pride in keeping a clean home and landscaped yard. Please don't judge all those going through foreclosure until you hear their stories. We don't all deserve the stigma we've been given.
4 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sat Aug 7, 2010
Lots of good advice already.

Two quick thoughts:

Some people are habitual deadbeats. Others have a good history, and have gotten into some trouble--foreclosure, medical bills, etc. You absolutely want to screen out the deadbeats--people with a repeated history of credit or financial problems. If they'd previously had good credit but ran into a specific, identifiable problem, then you want to make sure that, whatever that problem was, that it's resolved now.

Many people suggest screening. That's good advice--do both a background check and a credit check. As for contacting past landlords, here's a tip: Don't stop at the most recent one. Especially if the prospective tenants, for whatever reason, are leaving a place early. Example: A family moving a few miles to be closer to an ailing relative. The family has a good income. The present landlord gives a glowing recommendation--good tenants, never a bother, always pay their rent on time. That's a red flag. Check with previous landlords. It's possible that the landlord with the glowing recommendation wants the tenants out as soon as possible and is willing to give the glowing recommendation to do so. Previous landlords may be more honest. (Don't ask me how I know this one!)

Hope that helps.
3 votes
David Dorfman, Agent, Neptune, NJ
Fri Aug 6, 2010
And another point about finding "good" tenants -

You might run THEIR credit report and check their past living history the best you can (or your agent/mgr).


1) the dog they never had or ex boyfriends dog - all of a sudden shows up.
2) or the non-working ex shows up - for a "couple" days
3) the kids that they forgot they had show up - for a"couple days"
4) the lost kitty finds a new home - or has to go to the shelter
5) tenant starts smoking
6) their car breaks down and winds up a test project in the driveway
7) their friends car breaks down and winds up a test project in the driveway
8) they decide to save money to buy a house by not paying you rent
9) they decide to get a divorce

These aren't only tenant issues. These are REAL issues that actual home buyers should look into when they are looking at homes - don't just drive past with an agent on a nice "quiet" time -like when the neighbors isn't around.

A credit report is a start - a tenant lifestyle report is needed - or a homeowner lifestyle report,

People are people. Not everyone likes their neighbor, their looks or jokes.

The landlord just needs to take a deep breath and not panic when the phone rings.

More importantly, the landlord should not be a landlord if they don't have the funds to cover repairs, vacancy and, for those agents out there, a commission.

The tenant will not always cover your costs. DO YOUR OWN CALCULATIONS.
Web Reference:  http://www.rentlaw.com
3 votes
David Dorfman, Agent, Neptune, NJ
Thu Aug 5, 2010
Just because the tenant shows good today, doesn't mean you will get your rent next month.

Trust me. 25 years of landlording.

I used to be able to look at someone, tell them what the rent was and ask for the 1.5 month security deposit and hand them the lease.

That was then - either people understood they had to pay the rent or they looked back at me and said they will thiunk about it - which they would and never return.

Today, someone can look nice, drive a nice car and hand you over the security deposit and you think great - O can't wait to I get my next rent check so I can make my mortgage payment or pay the taxes.

One month, two months and that professional tenant just cost you 5 or 6 months rent.

rentlaw.mysmartmove.com for tenant screening - remember, it's onily an indicator of past performance ):
Web Reference:  http://www.rentlaw.com
3 votes
Martie Liebe…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Fri Jul 30, 2010
A seasoned landlord once told me he follows new applicants home and knocks on their door, handing them a copy of their rental application. This way he can see how his new tenant is likely to live in his rental unit. Surprise!
3 votes
Bill Moroney, , Phoenix, AZ
Thu May 13, 2010
Finding good tenants is a matter of instinct and experience. You or your manager must meet every person who plans to live in the property. Spend a little time with them, see how they dress, how the behave, how they answer your questions. This economy has shellacked most prospective tenants' credit reports. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, slow pays, etc. don't bother me as a landlord and professional property manager. What throws up the red flag are, first and foremost, previous landlord judgments. I let prospects know up front not to bother applying if they have one. Always get their current and previous landlords contact info and definitely contact them. That is golden. Also contact employers to discover how they are viewed by their management at the job. But only ask about their income and length of employment. Most of the time, they'll volunteer extra tidbits that help. As far as advertising, you can use the newspaper, several websites, and the MLS. Tenants look in all sorts of ways. It takes only one to work.
3 votes
Chris, , Daytona Beach, FL
Wed Aug 4, 2010
What I've found is HotPads.com has a great and affordable background checks. I use this website for all my tenant screening.
Web Reference:  http://www.hotpads.com
2 votes
Marty Remo, Agent, Central Valley, NY
Tue Aug 3, 2010
Unfortunately for someone that has been through a foreclosure and there credit has taken a beating, it can be tough to get a rental. Many times landlord will consider taking them on as tenants with either addtional security deposits or prepaid rent.
2 votes
Caroline York, Agent, St Petersburg, FL
Tue Aug 3, 2010
Credit reports and investigative reports are all about numbers and one dimensional bits of information. You will still not know anything about the applicants. I recommend that you get three personal and three professional references in additional to the credit reports. Call these references don't just get their names and numbers - use the information. Tell them why you are calling and ask questions Too many times I hear landlords complain about the tenants when in fact they never did their homework.

I thought some of the suggestions on this link were very helpful. http://www.thelpa.com/lpa/tips/5_step_screening.html
Good luck.
2 votes
Goldenee, , 89102
Mon Aug 2, 2010
The people that have been through a foreclosure is because they could not afford their mortgage which was higher than where the market is right now, and if the banks would work with these people to stay in their homes via loan modifications or even as to help them shortsell then their credit would not be bad and they would still be in their home. Rent would obviously be more affordable then an outragious mortgage.
2 votes
David Dorfman, Agent, Neptune, NJ
Mon Aug 2, 2010

With RentLaw.com The National Landlord Tenant Guide, you can run a report from $20 or $25 depending on the info pulled.

RentLaw.com with rentlaw.mysmartmove.com is perfect for small landlords.

And remember- you never hos HOW perfect a tenant is. A report is only an indicator of their past payment history and what was contained in public databases.
2 votes
Jay & Lynn O…, Agent, Surprise, AZ
Sat Jul 31, 2010
I just listed a property for lease for a past client and found a tenant very quickly because of all the people who have lost their homes we had multilple applications. We put all the applicants side by side to compare circumstances and quality. Then chose what we felt would be the best candidate and had them go to http://www.mysmartmove.com after the landlord set up an account. If they didn't "pass" we would go on to the next best applicant.

The applicant pays the fee, the site does a credit, and criminal background check and grades the applicant. It is free to the landlord if they set it up for the applicant to pay the $45 fee. It is a great system, easy to use and very helpful. I guess we got lucky because we had so many applicants to choose from. The landlord can manage multiple properties through their account.
Web Reference:  http://www.mysmartmove.com
2 votes
Crystal, , Greensboro, NC
Fri Jul 30, 2010
1st option: Hire a Property Manager.
2nd option: Verify the address on the application by going out. Income Verifcation. Verify References, Pay History verification. Request Background checks. You have to be creative.. You want to be fair, understanding, smart, and of course within landlord/tenant guidelines from start to finish--- all at the same time.
2 votes
Irene Jarosz, , Libertyville, IL
Sat Aug 7, 2010
Most tenants have credit issues, otherwise they would buy. I ask them to go to annualcreditreport.com and print a copy of their credit report for my review. It does not give a credit score, but you can see what is going on. At this time they will usually confess their sins to you and you can decide if you want them for a tenant. I usually do a phone interview before wasting my time showing the rental. I tell the prospect that if they are interested in the unit I will need them to fill out an application which I will pick up at their current residence. I would like to be sure they are taking good care of their current residence so I can be sure they will take good care of my property. I tell them they will be quite happy with the condition of the rental, I am not a slumlord, I take pride in my houses. It is worth the drive to check them out before they move in so I don't have to spend hours in court. They are immediately disqualified if they have ever been evicted. Good luck. You can call or email me and I can send you a list of questions to ask.
1 vote
Fabulous response!!!! I also when I Iist the rental, I put must agree to a Background Check and Credit Report. That weeds out about 90% of problem tenants right there. They usually wind up confessing their whole history to you after they want the apt and are usually slight infractions, like they owe $5000 in credit card debt that they are paying off every month.
Flag Mon Mar 16, 2015
Dp2, , Virginia
Sat Aug 7, 2010
You received lots of excellent advice of what to do before you sign a tenant. Whether or not you personally manage your property/properties, you'll need your property manager to be proactive. Slum or deadbeat landlords attract deadbeat tenants.

Keep in mind that great tenants can also be a source for finding other great tenants.

Also, a well written, thorough, and strong lease agreement will help to encourage many undesirable candidates and/or tire kickers to self-select themselves out of that application pool. For example, if your lease specifies that you have cameras that are always recording, and that you periodically share them with the police, then some potential tenants involved in various "extra-curricular" activities will move somewhere else. Another example: if you state in your lease that you'll pursue all civil and criminal remedies afforded to you against anyone cooking/using meth, or possessing any meth cooking paraphernalia, then you'll encourage them to pursue other living accommodations. Many of characters "love" it whenever they see a clause for random and regularly scheduled (like once per quarter) inspections.

Finally, although this is another lease-related issue, this one deserves it's own special treatment. You need to incorporate 1 or more decent hassle-related clauses into your lease. Your tenants need to know that the more hassle that they give you, the more they'll pay. For example, if tenants know that they'll have to pay a $100 deductible for any plumbing related issues, then they're not going to try to flush stupid stuff down the toilet. If you pay the utilities, and you cap the amount that you'll pay, then amazingly enough you'll notice that your tenant's utility bills usually won't go over that cap. If you incorporate a $200/"driveway project"/month fee into the lease, then you'll notice that those driveway projects won't show up on your property. If your tenants know that they'll have to pay a per diem in addition to the rent whenever they overstay their lease, then they'll make more of an effort to move out on time.
1 vote
Michael Weav…, Agent, Carmel, IN
Fri Aug 6, 2010
Do your due diligence, but remember, this is not a completely answerable question. If it was, more people would be renting houses. There is a certain risk that everyone knows about when it comes to renting property. The best way to handle problems is to be firm: expect payment on a certain date every month, if they are late 1 day, start the process of eviction(make sure you have that in the contract). Sure, you may still loose some money, but when you let things slide, even a little, they could sink you. Look at it this way, do you get to live for free? Then why should they. Hope this helps!
1 vote
Wendy Dessan…, Agent, Tenafly, NJ
Fri Aug 6, 2010
There are good tenants out there. As a realtor I work with landlords to attract prospective tenants to a property. First of all the tenant, like a buyer, must be interested in living in that property....is the living space suitable, condition, location right for them? All those factors are key to a prospective tenant's interest. From the landlord's point of view...is the tenant qualified...another words based on upon their income does it make sense...do they have monies available after the rent for other expenses and daily living. What's their credit like...if they have had a problem is there a reasonable and acceptable explanation? Using a rental application is helpful to get a sense of the tenants history, references, etc. An interview is usually helpful too, if possible. Like a job interview it gives both the landlord and tenant an opportunity to get to know one another..again if the landlord is comfortable and available to do that.
I'm located in Northern New Jersey, just on the New Jersey of the GWB bridge. As a long-time, experienced realtor, I'm happy to asnwer any other questions related to rentals or any real estate items.
Wendy W. Dessanti/Weichert Realtors
201 310-2255/201 541-1449, ext 192
1 vote
Jeremy Silve…, , Tucson, AZ
Mon Aug 2, 2010
I would reccomend having a reputable property management company screen the tennant. The screening however is directed by the level of critieria you choose to have as the owner. Many property management companies have systems to effectively screen the tennant. In a case of a person whos credit has taken a hit from a forclosure some additional questions may be necessary to clarify the reasons. Job history, references, and a security deposit for the maximum allowable by law may be your best forms of protection. Having a set of characteristics for your view of a perfect tennant will be helpful for the property management company or yourself to identify the right tennants and the wrong ones as they come along.
1 vote
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Jul 30, 2010
You bring up a very good question - once in, tenants are very difficult to remove. The answer is in the careful review of credit history, payment history with prior landlords and other indebtedness AND checking references.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service - in New Jersey
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Andreas Senie, Agent, Fairfield, CT
Fri Jun 25, 2010
Consider if your property qualifies for section eight housing. With section eight homes the rent is payed by the government not the tenant usually around 70% of the rent is paid with the renter to come up with the rest. As long as your house is up to code your units will be filled and most of the rent paid. this ofcourse is better then no rent roll at all. However keeping in mind that your property may be above section eight standards.
The best way to ensure your renters are good are

!Hire a Management Company! if this is not an option see below

1. High Credit Score, Ask For Cosigners on credit scores lower then 700
2. 3 References
3. Employment History at same job lasting longer then 6 months minimally (pay stubs, tax returns)
4. Contact Last Two landlords of residences the person(s) have stayed at
5. Offer long term leases only as these people tend to take better care of the property and pay their rent.
1 vote
Richard Schu…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu May 13, 2010
I have seen some renters with bad credit be willing to offer up a higher security deposit (maybe 2 months, instead of 1 month). This may make the landlord more comfortable renting to them. Something to consider as a possibility.

Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
1 vote
James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Thu May 13, 2010
Develop a system of screening prospects and use that procedure with everyone. Have each tenant fill out a credit application, run their credit, check to see the accuracy between their application so that it corresponds with their credit report. If you see discrepancies, you may want to question it or eliminate them as a tenant for not being truthful.

Just because some has a foreclosure on their report doesn't always mean they won't be a good tenant. Their credit report will tell a story if you take the time to read it closely.

I usually check for debt to income as a big factor, because if some if living on a very tight budget, you may eventually see problems with the rent being paid on time if paid at all.

Good luck!!
1 vote
Cynthia Flem…, Agent, Laguna Niguel, CA
Thu May 13, 2010
It is difficult to know for sure, even if the prospective tenant has excellent credit. But you are correct in that there are a lot of people looking to rent who have recently lost their homes to foreclosure. That is a fact of the current market. You need to make sure that their income vs. debt ratio supports the rent that you are asking first of all. That they have a steady work record and if they are tenants who have rented before, you will have references to check with. There are also online services that landlords can use to report tenants who do not pay their rent on time or other negative experiences. You would want to consult with these services as well. I can only recommend that you do as thorough a check as possible, but no matter what, there are no guarantees. Good luck renting your property!
1 vote
vaso81, Home Buyer, 20005
Wed Nov 19, 2014
You may try to do background and eviction screening in addition to credit score check. Website like leaserunner and many others offer that service.

0 votes
James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Mon Mar 31, 2014
Screening the tenants is how you obtain good tenants. Just because someone had a foreclosure or short sale, doesn't automatically mean that they are high risk tenants. Screening each applicant for accuracy in their application, checking references, analyzing their credit worthiness and history. If a tenant doesn't pay their rent, they will be without a place to live fairly quick. The eviction process in Phoenix is typical under 3 weeks start to finish. So if a tenant doesn't pay by the first, you can provide a 5 day notice to pay or quit. After the 5 days pass, you can request a forcible detainer from the courts. Upon judgment in your favor, the tenant has 5 days to vacate the home or a writ of restitution may be ordered to have the tenant removed and possession of the property regained.
0 votes
Bianca Benne…, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Mon Mar 31, 2014
Usually tenants these days are qualified based on their criminal record, and based on their income.
The best way to go is to higher a real estate professional or a property management company to help you through this process.

Best Regards,

Residential Real Estate Professional / Prestige Realty
Bianca Bennett / 602-570-7898
Website: http://www.InvestInArizonaHomes.com
0 votes
Songhua Hu, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Sat Mar 29, 2014
I totally agree that the recent financial crisis has made the traditional credit check unreliable. Too often good tenants would be screened out simply due to the foreclosure they suffered out of their control.

From my experiences, the best way is to screen for tenant employment and income, either is a good predictor of rent-paying tenant. If you feel that employment and income verification is too time-consuming, you can outsource it to specialized companies. TheWorkNumber is a decent option, but it only covers 1/3 of US work population and is expensive. Tenantify is a newcomer and proves to be reliable and affordable.
Web Reference:  http://tenantify.com
0 votes
Gary Taylor, , Vancouver, WA
Thu Jul 25, 2013
Try http://www.tenantverification.com. I've found it to be the most efficient and cost-effective service on the market.
0 votes
marv, , New York, NY
Thu Jul 25, 2013
There are many good suggestions here with respect to screening tenants and stories from tenants who have lost their homes, have a bad credit history but are good tenants.

Tenant screening is a multifaceted process that should be seen as being fair to the tenant and yet still protects the landlord.

So In keeping with the Question...How can you find good tenants?

http://www.tenantverification.com advocates that landlords/property managers make tenant worthiness as much a part of their screening criteria as credit worthiness.

As noted in some of the comments here... there are valid reasons why some Individual(s) credit history has been negatively impacted. . e.g. lost a house during the housing crash But there are many more scenarios where Individuals have bad credit but are good tenants.

So how does a landlord determine tenant history? Call current and previous landlord to determine rent pay habits. Was rent paid on time? Was all rent paid upon lease expiration? Any damage to rental? Would you rent to him/her/them again?

Bad or high risk tenants use landlords/property managers as a revolving line of credit, they never pay rent, are hard to evict, do not suffer any consequences and carry on to the next landlord. So in addition to obtaining a consumer credit report, you had better make some phone calls.

This piece of due diligence along with a credit report should prevent or at least minimize of rental income loss. TIP: Compare personal information on credit report to personal information on rental application. Does it match? Are all addresses listed on rental app? Look at some photo ID such as a D.L.s as well and compare information on it to rental app. Does it match?

The e-guides noted below provide valuable tips & advice.

Get a FREE landlord e-guide and a FREE tenants e-guide to renting simply by emailing info@tenantverification.com and requesting same. No promo involved. There are links in the e-guide to above noted website, which is all the promo you will see/get.

A couple of good educational websites for landlords & tenants are http://www.tenantsinfo.com and http://www.landlordfraud.com

Hope this helps out. Don't forget Landlords need tenants and vice versa. Most tenants are good tenants, some need to be educated a bit with respect to responsibilities etc. www. tenantsinfo.com will do that.

The landlord experience can be a pleasant one if there is a process or a plan that protects the landlord and benefits the tenant and/or the tenant community. The blog/newsletter at http://www.tenantverification.com has new information every two weeks that landlords benefit from.

Marv Steier
0 votes
Emmy & Compa…, Agent, Fairfield, CT
Tue Aug 28, 2012
If you work with a saavy Realtor, they will be able to interpret the credit report they run on perspective clients.

Since so many people are in foreclosure and short sale situations, partially because of the banks....it is important to look at other payment records.
Personally, if someone paid everything, except their mortgage in a timely manner, I would most likely give them a chance.
I would look at that record and their employment history and income, and if that looks good, they should be able to make the monthly payments. Many people are going to need a break, and a place to live...if they are working and the only negative is the mortgage...give them a break.

Things I would ask for:
1. Letter from employer stating the probability of continued employment.
2. Letter of recommendation from former landlords (if they had one)
3. Letters of reference from non family members
4. A letter from them, explaining how they got into this position
Best of luck !
0 votes
Florentine22, Both Buyer And Seller, Seattle, WA
Thu Nov 10, 2011
I have used a website called MyScreeningReport.com It is specifically for private landlords - ME! It is nice because not only does it include credit, it also include criminal AND eviction information.

My tenants like it too, because they can also see their report AND it only creates a soft inquiry on their credit. Other products have a minimal impact on their credit score.

Worth checking out!
0 votes
Sandee Davis, Agent, Byron, GA
Tue Aug 10, 2010
A simple rule of thumb is if they have checking/savings accounts. Our Sellers find the best tenants by advertising in the Credit Union Bulletin. No Charge to advertise if you are a member.
0 votes
David Dorfman, Agent, Neptune, NJ
Sun Aug 8, 2010
"Most tenants have credit issues, otherwise they would buy."

Not true.

Many smart buyers are renters.
Web Reference:  http://www.rentlaw.com
0 votes
Janet Cyr-Ho…, , Inverness, FL
Fri Aug 6, 2010
I would encourage you to rely on the professional experience of a property manager. Spending years evaluating credit reports and background checks and investigating references is well worth the fee charged in order to find a good tenant. All that said, even then there is no guarantee, but is does greatly increase your chances. It is far more expensive to deal with a bad tenant who doesn't pay or destroys your property. If you do go it alone, please pay a service to run a full credit and criminal background check as well as checking references and verifying income of potential tenants.
0 votes
Jessica Kraj…, Agent, Boston, MA
Mon Aug 2, 2010
I would use an agent to help find the tenants. Agents will run credit checks, get applications and interview the perspective tenant. Even with a foreclosure on record, people can be great tenants. If they can show good income and the only smudge on the credit report is the home default then i would move forward with them as a tenant. If they are late on all bills be wary and find someone else!
0 votes
David Dorfman, Agent, Neptune, NJ
Fri Jul 30, 2010
You might save 10% - but you also have to put a true value to that 10% .

I you lose one month in rent because you are looking for people, you lose that 10% you tried to save.

If you don't rent a tenant credit report and wind up with a dead beat tenant (you can still lose), you lose more than 10%.

If you don't know what you are doing - you lose more than 10% .

Ask around as well - many agents work for 1/2 month rent (if they do their own) or a flat 5% of the rent.

If you need to run a Tenant Credit Report with a recommendation, see rentlaw.mysmartmove.com

If you need to learn more about being a landlord or tenant, see this reference and gain knowledge.
Web Reference:  http://www.rentlaw.com
0 votes
Spirit Messi…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Fri Jul 30, 2010
Property manager or company is a double edge sword, they help you find tenants but charge 10%. Personally, I like doing it yourself on free sources like Craigslist, more work but you save that 10% as well. Good luck.
0 votes
Diana Geremia, Agent, Leesburg, VA
Fri Jul 30, 2010
I imagine this can be scary as a landlord - how do you know if the tenants are going to pay? Your main concerns as a landlord are getting stuck with a tenant that moves in and does not pay rent or the tenant that does not take care of your place. If you can eliminate/ reduce the liklihood of those 2 happening you will have an easier decision.
Get an overall picture of the applicants and meet them if possible. Run a credit check on them and look at the big picture. A past foreclosure or a short sale does not mean they will not pay their rent. Perhaps they have they paid all their other bills on time. Do they have a recent bankruptcy? What was their situation that led to the hardship?Do they have any past rental history where you can call the previous landlord and verify they paid on time and took care of the place.What is their current employment? Is their income enough to pay the rent. They should make more than 40x the monthly rent in yearly income.

It is often an overall picture you create of the applicant with many pieces.A person that has paid on time and has excellent credit may be a lower risk but can still fall on hard times or not take care of a place properly. Take the time to gather as much information as you can on the applicant and make an informed decision. If necessary ask for an extra months rental deposit if allowed in your state.
0 votes
David Dorfman, Agent, Neptune, NJ
Wed Jul 28, 2010
Here's a tip: even great credit DOESN'T mean they will pay rent during the term of YOUR lease. It just shows that no information was found on evictions or late payments to another landlord are not recorded nationally.

You can verify previous address. Bad tenants often use a previous address - their mothers, their friends or false landlords to verify their stellar record.

Things happen and good tenants can become bad tenants.

Screen the tenants - small landlords should look at RentLaw.com Tenant Screening Services - rentlaw.mysmartmove.com
0 votes
Artur Ciesie…, , Phoenix, AZ
Thu Jul 1, 2010
SierraSlim is typical of many people who are now tenants. A short sale, foreclosure or even a bad credit score is not indicative of how a tenant will perform in the future. Instead of looking at the credit check how they may perform in the future. How much do they make now compared to their expenses and debt load etc. Often a rental is much more affordable then a much higher former mortgage. Of course you never have certainty that someone will pay, even people with good credit can lose their job in the future.
0 votes
Abuyer, Home Buyer, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue May 18, 2010
adequate income
pay their bills (credit report)-if foreclosed okay -but did they pay other bills?
not too much other debt
you can't be sure they have a pet or will get one, but they can do damage
try for deposit, but you are competing with some others who don't require deposits- I don't know how it is possible-if you have no deposit you take a big risk-(maybe only big apt buildings do it sans deposit so for them it evens out)
0 votes
The Urban Te…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Thu May 13, 2010
What general area is your rental property located?
0 votes
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