While credit and background checks are good. I also recommend "tip of the iceberg" tests. For example, I always inspect a tenant's car. How they keep their car will tell you a lot about how they will keep the unit, it's a great and very reliable test. Slobs cannot hide the fact that they are slobs! I will also do a walk-through of the unit, and I will simply test how they treat the unit. For example, I'll go into a bedroom, switch the light on, and after they've seen it, I'll be sure to be the first one out, then see if they turn the light off. Same thing on the doormat: Do they wipe their feet instinctively when they come in? It's not their unit yet so they should treat it like yours at this point.... do they have manners? These are things a person typically cannot hide that reveal their true nature. They know what the "right answers" to your questions are so you have to find ways to ask a question when they don't have their guard up...to get the truth.
That is why I call it the tip of the iceberg theory, a person has only practiced the verbal stuff. So I test the unconscious habits they have that they have not usually trained to hide about themselves and it tells me a lot about how they will be as a tenant and/or neighbor. Hope my unorthodox methods give you some new ideas that help!
Broker, CRS, GRI, ePro
Raving Real Estate
Laramie, WY 82070