As a property owner, quality tenants are your lifeblood. A quality tenant is someone who pays
rent on time, respects your property, and is respectful to other tenants. The only way to really
find out if someone is going to be a good tenant is to perform a background check. A property
manager can screen potential residents and help you weed out any bad apples.
You should conduct research on anyone who applies and all those over 18 years of age who
will be living on the property. Here are some tips on what type of background checks are
● Verify application information: First, you should see if the information on a tenant’s
application matches up with background checks. You should run a credit, criminal,
employment, previous address, and eviction check on all prospects. While dates of
previous residencies may not match up perfectly, they should be close.
● Check credit scores: Generally, you want tenants that have good credit scores. A good
tenant doesn’t necessarily require a perfect credit score but they should be honest about
why their credit score is low (e.g., a discharged bankruptcy or previous medical debt). Be
very wary of tenants with unpaid cell phone or utility bills or who owe money to previous
● Identify who will live on the property: When renting your property to a resident, be
sure to ask who will be residing on the property on both a full- and part-time basis.
● Ensure prospective tenants can afford rent: Determine whether residents can afford
the monthly rent and who will be paying. Generally, you want to rent to tenants who have
a monthly income of at least 3 times the rent.
● Verify the applicant’s ID: In the digital age, identity theft is rampant. Make sure the
person you are renting to is who they say they are. It’s a red flag if applicants want to
pay everything in cash or cashier’s checks, so definitely double check ID’s in these
Scouring through applications in search of quality residents can be a frustrating task. Yet failure
to properly screen tenants can result in damage to your property, unpaid rent, lawsuits, and
other serious issues. A skilled property manager can run background checks on all applicants
18 years of age and older and ensure your units are occupied by respectable residents.