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Tenant Screening

March 19th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Tenant screening is one of the keys to being a successful landlord.  Sadly many landlords do a poor job of this. Sometimes it’s lazyness, sometimes ignorance, sometimes simply desperation to get someone tenant back in the property to help make mortgage payments. Trust me on this one, it is time well spent. You simply can’t make up the time and expense of a bad tenant by filling your rental a few days or even weeks faster.

So how do you screen a tenant. Here’s a great checklist. Tenant Screening

This is from Josh Dorkin’s Bigger Pockets blog

Happy landlording,


Tags: Landlording · real estate

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joshua Dorkin @ BiggerPockets (1 comments.) // Mar 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for sharing our tenant screening post with your readers, Ned!

  • 2 Jack Payne (1 comments.) // Mar 20, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Tenant screening should be every bit as thorough as screening for a top level job.
    A bad tenant, with no pride of ownership, can kill you, financially.

  • 3 NewSunSEO (1 comments.) // Mar 20, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Hey Ned! The checklist is very good guidelines to follow. This is a very important thing to do before letting them move into your house or apartment. For the time it takes to do this, you could save yourself a really long time in a dispute.

  • 4 Jonathan Benya (10 comments.) // Mar 25, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Ned, It’s amazing how lax some owners can be when it comes to screening. In my area people often see section 8 options as a great way to fill vacancies, but they rarely seem to take into account the risk involved with potential repair costs afterwards. Thanks for posting about this!

    P.S., I’ve been a long time lurker on your blog, When I realized that you were the one that commented on mine, I decided it was time I actually said hello!

    ~Jonathan Benya

  • 5 Victo // May 18, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I have a relatively big, new, and gorgeous house in Baltimore, built in 2005. I could not live there at the moment because I reside at another property close to my work.

    I got a section 8 tenant who got the house brand new and promised to pay the difference of whatever section 8 will not pay (section 8 cannot pay a rent that will cover my mortgage). She defaulted on her part, owe water and electric bill, eventually moved out leaving me with backlog of bills to pay.

    I got a decent tenant after this who pays rent on time, gave me no apparent trouble. I was enjoying this honeymoon until (s)he called me after six months that (s)he is moving because she cannot afford the rent again. I was thinking of going to court but realize that my time will not permit.

    Now the house is empty, my mortgage is more more than $2500 and 2 months behind on the mortgage. I cannot afford to pay the mortgage because I’m still paying mortgage on my second house where I reside. I work in VA and going to live in my beautiful house in Baltimore is a commute I don’t even want to think of.

    Now, I have another section 8 tenant who is interested in the house and promise to pay the difference of what section 8 will not cover. Should I take this risk again or what can I do?

    I know all about screening. Definitely they don’t have good credit but I was thinking of taking the risk just to make sure the mortgage is paid.

    Please advise!

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