Property owners and managers dream of the perfect tenant, one that respects their property, pays on time, and doesn’t create problems.

Does such a tenant exist?

They absolutely do. And if you want them to live in your space, here are a few tips to help you find the perfect tenants:

Choose Tenants With Good Credit:  Finding tenants who are financially responsible isn’t impossible. It just requires a little legwork on your part.  Every potential renter should complete an application that offers all of the information you need to run a credit check. That application should include:

  • Full Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Addresses For the Last Two Years
  • Current Employer
  • Current and Previous Landlord
  • Permission to Access Credit Report

Per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you need the tenant’s permission before you can take a look at their credit. I always recommend including that question in the renter’s agreement.

Do a Criminal Background Check:  Criminal information is public record. This is good news for landlords and property managers who want to ensure they are bringing in the perfect tenant.  To run a check, you will need the tenant’s full, legal name and their date of birth. You can start with a state or county search, and then move on to a federal search if your local searches turn up anything curious.  There is a sexual offender database as well.

Learn the Tenant’s Rental History:  Knowing the rental patterns of a potential tenant can speak volumes. When you reach out to past landlords, ask questions like:

  • Did they pay rent on time?
  • Were they respectful of their neighbors?
  • Did they give 30 days notice when they decided to move?
  • Why did they decide to move?
  • Were they clean?
  • Did they cause problems or complain often?

This is why getting references is important. Taking the time to call past landlords or property managers is never a waste of time. If you want good people renting from you, learning as much as you can about them is the first step.