There’s no foolproof way to judge who the best tenants are. As a landlord, there are many ways to screen potential renters before signing a contract while still following your local laws against discrimination. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best tenants:

  1. Check your prospective tenant’s finances. Do they pay their bills on time? Do they have a steady income? How long have they been working at their current job? Knowing a tenant keeps their finances in order increases the likelihood of rent being paid in full, on time, and without risk.
  2. Speak with their previous landlords. By contacting more than one source to check the reputation of a prospective renter, you can be more confident that they will be quiet, conscientious tenants. 
  3. Consider couples. People with joint finances, or even just living together, are more likely to be able to afford their rent without issue. Even if one person experiences a loss of employment, the other can supplement in the meantime. 
  4. Trust your gut. No matter how much screening you do, sometimes your instincts know better. If someone doesn’t sit right with you, no matter how good they look on paper, they might not be the right fit. 

And don’t forget – people can surprise you! Sometimes a student can be the best tenant you’ve ever had, or someone who always pays their rent on time can still leave damages. There’s no perfect formula, but by following some of these tips, you can find the right fit.