Selecting a Good Tenant

Choosing a Tenant

a) How can landlords select a good tenant?

When a prospective tenant approaches you, you should conduct a background check on the tenant before letting him or her stay as a tenant. This is very important. When you do a background check, you can check if the person has a criminal record. You ideally wouldn’t want someone with a criminal record as a tenant. Landlords can be held liable for the criminal actions of their tenants. You should also check to see if they are regular in making their payments. Once you manage to get a good tenant, you must ensure that you keep that tenant. To keep a tenant, it is important for you to understand your obligations as a landlord and your duties towards the tenant.

b) Are there any other ways to evaluate potential tenants?

Landlords can make use of companies and private investigators who can conduct a background check. This will help in weeding out unwanted tenants. A credit report will help in determining whether the tenant is regular in making payments. The landlord can also ask for references and check with the references about the tenant. If possible, the landlord can check with the previous landlord of the tenant to know more about the tenant.

c) Can the landlord discriminate in selecting potential tenants?

The landlord can discriminate amongst prospective tenants on the basis of their past tenancy history, present income and ability to pay the rent, credit report and criminal records. In some jurisdictions the landlord can select tenants based on personal criteria such as nose rings or purple hair. Some jurisdictions permit landlords to refuse accepting people in certain occupations as tenants.

d) Will a landlord get in trouble for rejecting a potential tenant?

The landlord can reject a prospective tenant on any grounds including personal preferences. However, the landlord cannot discriminate between prospective clients based on their race, religion, color, national origin, family status or disability. Local laws may impose other prohibitions on discriminating amongst prospective tenants.

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