As landlords, it is very easy to get caught up in a cycle of fear and suspicion when looking for a new tenant.  Chances are that you have either personally had to deal with a bad tenant or you know other landlords who have.  It can be very easy to lose sight of the fact that we are providing housing for people who need housing.  Our job is to find the best possible tenant that we can.  But, we need to be careful not to go overboard and treat the very people we need to rent our properties badly.

We have a lot of power in this process and it is very easy to engage in what I call “predatory landlording” if we are not careful.  I have 6 rules that I try to follow every single time I communicate with a prospect, applicant or tenant.  This is an ever changing process for me and one day, there may be more rules added.

I live by 6 rules:

  1. My goal is to always find a GREAT tenant.
    1. Pays the rent
    2. On time
    3. In full
    4. Takes care of property
    5. Follows rules
    6. Easy to deal with
    7. Stays for years
  2. Do not make it harder to rent a property than it is to buy a property.
    1. Requirements too high
      1. Credit
      2. Job
  • Rental
  1. Have systems, procedures and rental criteria and follow them.
    1. Properly list
    2. Pre-screening
    3. Criteria
    4. Questions
    5. Systems
  2. Whatever your criteria, apply it fairly to everyone.
    1. Example: Landlord says they look at the prospect’s car.
      1. What does that mean? What are your criteria?
        1. Don’t be too harsh on “ugly” cars.
      2. Do not harm the Prospect in this process.
        1. Income example
          1. Making an exception
        2. Rely on facts, not emotion.
          1. Do not meet someone and pre-rent to them.
          2. Bad tenants -> Lack certain skill sets
          3. Do you want to “teach” these skills?
          4. Your responsibility is to yourself and your business.