How to Find a Perfect Tenant


Finding a tenant that pays rent on time, takes care of your property as if it were their own, notifies you of problems immediately, and overall is a pleasure to deal with requires a system. A screening system that gives you the best chance at renting to the perfect tenant.

Every Landlord's Screening System should include:

Criteria that every applicant must meet to be "qualified".

Criteria that is used for every applicant in the same manner, and this criterion might be different for each rental unit dependent on the quality and geographic nature of the rental. Criteria can include things like:

As a landlord, you get to determine what that criteria will be, DO NOT violate anyone's Human Rights! Once you have your criteria you will have to apply it consistently. Why? Consistent application of the criteria, should refute any claim(s) of discrimination.

This should be written Criteria that you follow with each application.

Once Criteria has been documented...then do this for each rental application

Does not meet Criteria? Reject
Meets Criteria...then next.

Show the rental property

Sometimes applicants want to rent without having seen the property!

NO!! Meet applicant(s) in person. You get a better sense of who they are by meeting them. Here are some things to look for when showing:

What is your gut feeling or overall sense of who they are?

Based on this information you should have a pretty good idea whether you want the Individual to complete a rental application.

Applicant does not meet criteria. Advise via email or telephone call. Applicant can't argue if you advise via email.

Applicant meets criteria... then next.

Generally speaking... Individuals who have a good consumer credit report, good references from landlords and employers, are generally responsible members of society, they should meet your criteria, and should make good tenants.

What about serious criminal convictions? Generally speaking, Individuals who have criminal records that you don't want to rent to, will not pass your Screening process as noted above. Individuals with criminal records *in most cases* will not

Be Reasonable

There are some Individuals who have made mistakes in life and have a criminal record as a result. But they have paid the piper so to speak. If all other due diligence is favorable, then reason should prevail. That would be left to your discretion and good common sense.

Signing the Lease

Many Landlords have a lease agreement that they obtained from the internet. Nothing wrong with that except it may not cover everything that you want in it. EG

All the terms that you want the tenant to agree to, should be in the lease agreement, do not take for granted that the tenant will comply with the requests if not in the lease agreement.

You can add addendums to the lease agreement. **** if you have rules that are deemed to be unreasonable, then you will quite likely loose any arbitration or court hearing. Most Arbitrators or Courts will look at what is REASONABLE. Discuss with the tenant!


Make the tenant aware of Tenant responsibilities and Landlord responsibilities. talks about same. Review these responsibilities with the tenant at Lease signing, and get the tenant to acknowledge his/her responsibilities as stated. You can also Google search Residential Tenancy Laws for your State and review landlord and tenant responsibilities.

What is one of the biggest MISTAKES that many landlords make with their rental business? They don't know their Tenancy Laws! BIG Faux Pas! This could cost thousands of dollars. There are conniving Individuals who looks for inexperienced landlords that don't abide by the tenancy laws. They are awarded a lot of money for landlord ignorance.

So, bottom line.... know your tenancy laws and abide by them.

How do I minimize my risk of rental income loss?

Report rent payments to Rent payments are reported to TransUnion Credit Bureau and added to the Tenant's consumer credit report.

Every Applicant should read this: The Notice to Tenant advises of consequences for late rent pay, non-payment of rent, and damaged rental property. Visit the website for more information.

Deterrents and Incentives

The lease lays out the terms of what is a legal contract. EG. tenant must rent for a year, pay rent on time, no pets, no smoking etc.

What if the tenant doesn't adhere to the terms of the contract? What deterrent(s) do you have? Up until now, not many. You could evict for breaking the lease, you could do battle with the tenant for not adhering to the terms. However, none of these are a deterrent at lease signing, the tenant does not consider consequences for breaking lease terms at lease signing.

Reporting rent payments is an important tool for identifying high and low risk EG Paid on time, paid late, money owing for damaged rental property, collections etc. And it's a great incentive for tenants to abide by the lease terms.

Tenants who pay rent on time can obtain a Certificate of Satisfactory Tenancy at the end of lease. A benefit for good tenants.

Making a tenant aware that there is a consequence for abusing landlords and benefits for abiding by the lease agreement is important to finding the Perfect Tenant.

Operating a SUCCESSDFUL RENTAL BUSINESS requires good Resources.

  1. Report rent payments
  2. Obtain Consumer Credit Reports
  3. Be an Educated Landlord
  4. Educate your tenants