One of the keys to avoiding issues with your residential tenants is simply to screen them as well as possible. It’s hard to find the “ideal” tenant that will never have a conflict, but you avoid high-risk tenants and help to lower the odds that a dispute will happen. 

As you do your screening, what red flags should you watch out for? Here are a few that can get you started:

  • They barely earn enough to pay the rent. They may have good intentions, but all it takes is one unexpected bill to make it unaffordable.
  • They have a low credit score. This could mean that they have a history of not paying off their debts, which is not a risk you want to take on.
  • They’ve been evicted in the past. Even if they have a “good excuse” for why it happened, you have to consider that it could happen again.
  • You can tell that the two of you won’t get along. If you’re frustrated just talking to them at a meeting, it’s going to be worse if they live on your property.
  • You suspect they may break your specific property rules. For instance, maybe you have a no-pets policy and they tell you that they have a dog, but they’ll find somewhere else for it to live. Will they actually try to sneak it in?

The biggest red flags are financial, but there are plenty of issues that can lead to disputes. If this happens, be sure you know what steps to take. While you can’t discriminate against a tenant for many reasons, that doesn’t totally eliminate your ability to be discerning. Find out more today about your legal options.