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Tools Landlords Should Use For Screening Tenants

The tenants in your property should be chosen carefully. You want to find people who will respect the property, not be disruptive to others, and reliably pay their rent. 

As you search for tenants, you should use the proper tools to screen them. 


When a tenant applies for your property, they’re only going to include the best about themselves. You should ask tenants for references. References allow you to get to know the potential tenant more and you can receive more honest information. Potential references might include former landlords, coworkers/employers, or even personal references. After you’ve received references, you should first check to verify them. 

For example, if it’s a reference for a former landlord, double-check the name and contact info to be sure it’s correct. When you contact the references, make sure you call rather than email them. This allows you to hear their tone of voice and, once again, you can verify who they are. 

Background Checks 

Conducting a background and credit check helps screen for quality tenants. This background check can provide you with a myriad of information about your potential tenant to help you determine if you should offer them a lease. In the background check, you can review their criminal history, public records, and any history of being evicted. 

Your background check should also include a credit check. This will allow you to see if they are reliable and will pay their rent on time. You can learn more about their past and see what patterns exist. You can then make an informed decision. 


Looking over someone’s information gives you a general idea of who a person is. However, if you really want to be sure about a tenant, you should hold interviews. During an interview, you can see what a person is truly like. This includes their mannerisms, attitudes, tone of voice, etc. 

You can get to know their character and this can help you determine if they will be a good tenant. While interviewing, you can also go over some questions to narrow down your search. Questions can be about their past renting history, pet information, behaviors such as smoking, and more.

As a landlord, you have the authority to be particular about what tenants to allow on your property. Bad tenants can cost you a lot of money and damage the reputation of the property. You want to take your time picking tenants and use all the tools available to you. 

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