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Since the landlord/tenant relationship is key to running rental properties, all it takes is one unreliable tenant to ruin your landlord experience. Selecting renters is a process that should not be rushed if you want to wind up with happy tenants who make your role as property manager or landlord pleasant. Follow these tips for finding good tenants to avoid problems.

How to Find Good Tenants

Start finding good tenants early to decrease the odds you’ll make a bad decision due to financial worries. As soon as your current renters give notice, advertise the vacant unit. Take the time to create an attractive listing with good photos. This will attract better leads and make it easier for you to find a great renter. When advertising your rental, make sure you avoid discriminatory language.

Part of how to find good renters is casting a wide net. Post your listing in local classifieds, share it with friends and colleagues, and use apartment hunting websites. It benefits you to have many interested applicants — this way, you can be choosy! Plus if someone comes referred by a friend or colleague, it can foster trust, the basis of a strong landlord/tenant relationship.

Have any interested parties complete a basic background check, and request references from their existing landlord and other parties. Call references to ask how the renter behaved and whether bills were paid on time. If the renter’s current landlords want him or her gone, odds are you don’t want to take this person on as a renter!

If a renter passes your screening, show him or her the apartment in person. Get a feel for his or her personality. If someone shows up smoking a cigarette and tosses the butt on the curb, he or she will likely treat your apartment with the same disrespect. If you allow pets on site, insist on meeting any potential pets beforehand.

American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA) offers convenient tenant screening forms to protect your interests. Our forms are reviewed by lawyers and steer clear of any discriminatory questions. See the tenant’s credit score and other relevant information to decide if he or she can afford to rent your apartment and is likely to pay the rent on time.

By following this advice on how to find good renters, you can decrease the odds of ending up with a problem tenant who trashes your apartment or is chronically late with rent.

After you find tenants for your rental properties, draw up a lease agreement that protects your interests and their right to rent. AAOA offers a legally vetted rental agreement in our forms library. Join today to access member rates on all our forms, including leases, tenant screening and credit check forms.

Disclaimer: All forms offered herein are provided only as a guide by the American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA). They have not been reviewed by legal counsel and no warranty, express or implied, is offered. AAOA suggests that you have local legal counsel that is familiar with current laws and ordinances review any forms prior to usage.

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