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Potential Tenant Profile: 5 good tenant tips for landlord advice and who would be a good tenant

Updated on December 29, 2012

Landlord advice 101 for profiling potential tenants for your real estate rental property. 5 essential tips you must know.

When choosing a tenant you must see past what meets the eye and really dig deep and profile to select the best candidate that will pay on time and take care of the property. Truthfully, you can’t always be 100% right about the outcome but you can curve your odds, below are those such odds.

1) Good Money Management. Its not about how much you make, its about how much you keep. If an income is $4,000 or $8,000 a month and $1,000 in the bank, you have to ask to yourself why that is. You obviously want a renter that rations their money. This can be revealed by a credit check and bank statement request on the application.

2) Good Living Situation. “How many and what occupations?” is the first question I ask. I won’t go into much detail on this one but keep the living arrangement in mind. A stable, responsible, and reliable living situation is best and where the same people will remain living there through out the lease, not people coming in and out.

3) Good Income. A good reliable source of income from a credible employer.

4) Good Honesty. Someone that is upfront and tells the truth about their situation. Someone that doesn’t try to sneak things past you on the application. I once found out days later, after digging, that an applicant had a current short sale property (monthly mortgage payment obligation) that they never mentioned and other debts, sort of important!

5) Good Conversation. You can ask questions and just sit back and listen. Many things are revealed to a good listener. “Look at that! We can make fires in the wood burning chimney!” and “I could paint my room lavender!” or “I could see us living here a while,” And “do these plants need to be watered?”

You have to get a little bit deep into this one. For example, “we have to be out by the 1st!” a potential tenant declares to you as you glance over the application with no current landlord phone number written down. You have to try to see into things beyond surface value.

Ultimately anything can happen and the people with the 400 credit score could have been the cleanest, honest, long-term, stable payers but these are good indicators to look out for. You also have to go with your gut instinct on some things, everything isn’t always what’s on paper.


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    • PapaGeorgeo profile image

      PapaGeorgeo 5 years ago

      Good tip! I'm going to do that

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Hello PapaG, There are some good tips here, I was a landlord for 10 years and loved it most of the time. You never know who your tenant is, until they move in, and sometimes income really doesn't matter.

      One thing I always did with potential tenants was walk them out to there car after their interview. Their car has a lot to say about how clean they are and how clean they will keep your property, just a little tip ;) Voted up and useful :) And welcome to hub pages, your off to a great start!