10 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Tenant

Terrible tenants can cost you thousands of dollars. There is more than just unpaid rent a stake when you have a terrible tenant. They can cause costly damage to your house, extended vacancies during repairs, and even damage your reputation as a fair and honest landlord.

Inviting someone to live in a house that you own comes with risk. Properly vetting your tenants can lessen that risk to the point where the benefits of a rental income outweigh it. Use these ten tips recommended by the Forbes Real Estate Council1 to vet your tenants:

  1. Establish Clear Protocol: Have a system in place and stick to it. Make a list of hours rules and qualifying characteristics and stick to it no matter what.
  2. Take References Seriously: If the tenant tells you their old landlord was a jerk, they are probably buttering you up to overlook a bad reference. Don’t let that trick work on you.
  3. Assess Patterns of Behavior: Call at least two past references to see if the applicant paid regularly and respected the rules.
  4. Scrutinize History Against Written Records: Look at credit reports, criminal backgrounds, and any other records you can get your hands on before letting a tenant sign a lease.
  5. Hold In-Person Interviews: Meet the person face to face and ask them questions about their application. Any inconsistencies in what they tell you and what they wrote down should be a red flag.
  6. Have A Bulletproof Lease Agreement: Make sure your lease agreement is airtight and update it between every tenant. Have legal counsel on hand so you can call one the moment you need them.
  7. Check Social Media: The perfectly put together person who meets you at your home may have a wild side that they are hiding from you. Do a sweep of their social media to look for undesirable behaviors.
  8. Screen All Applicants: Don’t just look at the primary applicant. Check on co-applicants, roommates, and anyone else who may be living in the home.
  9. Think Like a Detective: Think of your tenants as being disqualified until proven qualified. Keep your eyes wide open and question everything.
  10. Use a Third-Party Service: There is a lot of time and effort that goes into finding a good tenant. If you don’t have the time to do it right or are a first-time landlord who is worried about making the wrong call, get professional help. It could save you thousands of dollars.

If you are looking for the perfect tenant for a rental in the Sacramento area, I can help you today. Call me 916-838-0909.


1 American Apartment Owner Association. 11 Steps Landlords Should Take When Evaluating New Tenants. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#search/realestate%40krisanderson.com/FMfcgxvzLrDsFZNtcKmBrggWFZzWNvjq?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1


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