I found this article written by By John Nuzzolese on www.thelpa.com , but I had a few things to add to it. Although useful, sometimes these are characteristics you can’t see right off the bat! I’d suggest keeping your eyes open for a few extra things as well.
1) Be careful if they are in too much of a hurry.
2) Be careful if they are living in a motel.
3) Be sure to get a previous landlord reference. This is just a phone call away. Make use of this!
4) Beware of tenants who ask to pay the security deposit in increments. This lack of fiscal responsibility should be a red flag. Anyone should be able to come up with one month of rent in advance to pay for a security deposit. If not, they do not have enough of a cushion should something come up down the road.
5) Look for someone who displays good manners when you first meet them. If they cannot behave when meeting their landlord for the first time this is trouble!
Most landlords try their best to select good tenants to occupy their rental properties. Some are very successful at it while others always seem to end up with bad tenants regardless of how much they try.
In order to find a good tenant, we need to first understand the qualities or ingredients that a good tenant is made up from. Once we understand what ingredients we are looking for, we can carefully screen applicants with the right ingredients in mind. The LPA has a few tools that can help you determine if your applicant has the desired qualities you are looking for in your screening process.
So What Are the 5 Ingredients that Make Up a Good Tenant?
- Honesty / IntegrityTrust... reliability... decency are what comes into my mind as qualities of an honest person with integrity. I want a tenant who will do what he agrees to do. Someone who morally chooses to do the right thing. A person whose signature on a contract signifies a binding promise they will keep.
- CreditworthinessIf I am going to give legal possession of a valuable peice of real property to a tenant, I'm going to first want to know I'm dealing with someone with a good track record concerning credit. We have technology available now that can give me a credit report on the computer instantly on any rental prospect, so I definately want to assure myself that my prospect deals with financial matters in a reputable way.
- Ability to PayDoes the tenant have sufficient income or other resources to easily pay the rent and other living expenses every month? Is the tenant employed or just independently wealthy? Does the tenant depend on any other parties to survive? The answers to these questions will tell you how secure this tenancy will be.
- CleanlinessA clean tenant has higher standards than a dirty tenant. It is a fact that clean tenant will care for your rental property better than a dirty tenant.
- RespectThis is an important one. I have had the worst experiences with people who do not respect others. They may not even respect themselves, which usually means they won't treat your property very well since they don't respect it either. If they do not respect you as the landlord, you have a recipe for trouble.