Selecting Tenants for Residential Property

Selecting Tenants for Residential Property

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Soon the eviction moratorium will come to an end there will be rental units that need new tenants and a multitude of newly evicted applicants flooding the rental market.  Owning residential rental property can be a good investment for your future. However, if you end up with bad tenants the experience can go south quickly. To prevent possible problems, consider these recommendations when looking for tenants for your rental property:


Require potential tenants to complete a rental application. Thing you should ask about in an application include, but are not limited to:

  • Income
  • Employment
  • Credit history
  • Rental History

Also, ask if they have:

  • Children
  • Pets
  • Vehicles

Make sure the application outlines the length and terms of the lease, the cost of rent and the security deposit required.

Require a small deposit be turned in with the application to hold the property while you conduct credit, rental and background checks.

Properly screen all applicants to determine their credentials. Do not rely on their word to validate their background and credit history. Tenants should be informed that their credit and references will be checked in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

Become familiar with the Federal Fair Housing Act that prohibits discrimination in renting practices based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, familial status and physical or mental disability.

Refuse applicants based on legitimate business reasons, such as poor credit or bad rental history, and not for personal reasons. This will protect you from discrimination suits.

When renting out your property, make all tenants sign a Tenancy or Lease Agreement. Outline who will pay for utilities, take care of snow removal, maintenance duties, lawn care and similar responsibilities.

Include the insurance requirements of both parties, such as the landlord’s responsibility to insure the building and premises and the tenant’s responsibilities to insure all contents.

Include with the Lease Agreement documentation noting the full inventory and condition of the rental property before the tenant moves in.

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