In property management, there should be a good fit between a tenant and a landlord, to ensure that everything goes smoothly. After all, it’s a two-way street; the tenant needs a landlord that will provide maintenance, and a landlord needs a tenant that will take care of the home and pay their rent on time. Finding the right tenant means thoroughly vetting them before they sign a lease. It means going the extra mile to ensure that they’ll be a good fit for you – and that there aren’t any surprises along the way. Here’s how you – or your property management company – should vet your clients. Check the Credit Score A credit score can tell you a lot about a tenant. It mostly speaks to their ability to pay their financial obligations on time. This is especially true if they’ve been a tenant before. You can use a credit score to see if they can be trusted to pay their rent on a regular basis. Some landlords enforce a minimum credit score in order to lease. In this way, a credit score is a good minimum standard that prospective tenants have to meet in order to proceed. Conduct a Criminal Background Check Another step you’ll want to take is to conduct a criminal background check of your prospective tenant. You want to keep your properties free of people who bring unsavory elements to them. Examining a person’s background with a criminal background check is a good way to screen for these individuals. Talk to Previous Landlords Chances are, your prospective tenant has rented from someone else at one point or the other. At this point, it’s important to get references from their previous landlords. You can then talk to their previous landlords to see if they paid their rent on time, were responsible, and kept the home in good working order. A tenant that trashed their place, or lost their security deposit, or had a history of not paying on time will have left a bad impression, and a landlord can help you out by telling you what happened. There are other steps you can take to make sure you get the right tenant. For more information on these steps and the entire process we use as property management specialists – as well as three questions you should ask your property manager – contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help.