8 Ways to Spot a Good Tenant

by Chris on June 3, 2013

What do you look for in a tenant?

There are three basic traits that describe the ideal tenant: The ability and willingness to pay rent, to care for the property, and to avoid creating a disturbance.

tenant screeningNothing short of a tenant background check can paint a truly realistic picture of whether a rental applicant will make a good tenant. But it is helpful to look for some of these positive traits before advancing an applicant to the top of the list:

Good tenants care enough to at least try to make a good impression. They will be on time, friendly, display some level of enthusiasm for the property, and show respect for the landlord, and for the property. These are qualities inherent to a responsible person.

It’s a good sign if the applicant can remember which rental ads they’ve responded to, and can list the reasons why they’d like to live in your property. This demonstrates a basic level of commitment to the lease. It also reveals a person who doesn’t like to waste their time — or yours.

Look for applicants who are responsive to communications. Tenants who are guarded or fearful may have something to hide. If it’s difficult setting appointments or getting them on the phone for lease discussions, imagine what it will be like once they move in.

The best applicants will seem interested and ask questions about the property, the surrounding area or the leasing rules. This is more likely someone who intends to abide by the lease agreement for the term of the lease.

The applicant should react positively to leasing policies that create a quiet, safe environment — like tenant screening requirements, crime-free rules or noise curfews. That signals a tenant who wants others to abide by those same rules.

A responsible tenant will be moving at the end of the current lease term. They may have finished out the term of their lease even under less than desirable circumstances. That shows they take their financial responsibilities seriously.

Did the applicant wait until the tour is ended before attempting to negotiate terms of the lease? An applicant who starts in too early may have realized they can’t afford the property.

Good tenants are forthcoming with information about the tenancy — like pet or smoking preferences or credit blemishes. A tenant who hides these facts may be someone who has become hardened by multiple rejections by other landlords.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ellen Hughes October 8, 2018 at 8:57 pm

I like that you suggested choosing tenants that can communicate with you well to make sure that they don’t hide anything from you. My husband and I are planning to have our house rented. We don’t actually have the time to look for tenants and screen them on our own, so we’ll make sure to use a tenant placement website. Thanks!

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