Finding the Perfect Tenant

Renting out a home is a great way to make some extra income. However, you want to make sure that your tenants are reliable, will pay rent, and won’t drive you crazy. Here are some tips you can use to help you find the ideal tenant for your rental property.


Make sure you market your rental property to the appropriate audience. If you aren’t advertising to the types of people you want living in your home, then you aren’t going to receive applications from those sorts of people. In addition, make sure your rental home is in good condition whenever you show it to a prospective renter. Make sure the home is clean, the electrical wiring is safe, and the plumbing is working well. You don’t want any leaky pipes. In addition, paint any rooms that need it with neutral colors. Potential tenants will also appreciate you taking steps to insure their safety such as installing smoke detectors and providing fire extinguishers. First impressions are important to for both the client and yourself. In order to attract the best tenants possible, you will need to show the home in the best shape possible.


Have anyone who is interested in renting the home fill out an application form. Consider using an online rental application form, such as this one from TurboTenant. Online applications make it simple for renters to apply, and you will receive them right away, unlike paper applications. TurboTenant also provides screening, making it easy to see if the potential tenant has any red flags.

Have your applicants provide the contact information of any former landlords. Talking with previous landlords can provide you with valuable information about the applicant. This person can let you know if the applicant was reliable, paid rent on time, and kept the previous rental apartment tidy.

Can They Pay?

Chances are, you are renting out your property to make a bit of money. So, one of the first questions you must address when looking for a tenant is, “Does this person have the ability to pay rent?” Find a tenant who has a stable job, and require proof of income. While the applicant might be able to pay rent now, if he or she is always hopping from job to job, he or she might not be able to pay the rent later on. Many landlords like to make sure that the tenant’s income is equal to at least three times the monthly rent. This way, the tenant will have enough money to pay for rent and any other necessities he or she might need.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact your potential tenant’s former landlords, if you have the option. They can give you insight into whether the tenant paid rent on time on a regular basis, or if those landlords had to remind and nag him or her.

Factors Other Than Money

Look at details besides how much people are willing to pay, as well. Someone might offer to pay a great deal, but if he or she is always throwing loud parties, annoying the neighbors, and trashing the place, it might not be worth the few extra bucks.

Run background checks that include all applicants’ credit scores, criminal backgrounds, and history of eviction. You want a tenant who will be reliable when it comes to paying rent — bad credit and a history of eviction are red flags. You also want a tenant around whom you feel safe. If someone has a criminal history that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you might want to reconsider renting your house to that person

Having a tidy client is always a plus. This is a little harder to discern right off-the-bat but is valuable all the same. Find a tenant with good housekeeping skills. The house will be clean when he or she moves out, and the tenant is apt to stay on top of maintenance better than someone who doesn’t take the time to clean.

Find a tenant whom you will get along well with. Make a judgment call on how stressed you think the applicant would make you if he or she was your tenant. If you think the tenant will be high maintenance, or that he or she won’t adhere to the terms of the lease, it could cause you anxiety, which is something nobody wants.

After you select a tenant, stay in contact with him or her. Keep up maintenance on the home and address any repairs needed promptly. If your tenant knows you care about the home and are making the effort to keep it in good shape, then there is a higher probability that he or she will take good care of the home as well. If you show your tenant respect, then your tenant will be much more apt to show you and your rental property respect, too.

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