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If, however, you choose to handle it yourself, make sure you start out with: (1) A completely filled out Tenant Application for every adult over the age of 18. (2) A current Credit Report (free from www.annualcreditreport.com) or better yet, a trimerge credit report (www.CreditScore.com). (3) If you have any hesitation about a prospect, you can check a renter's background at (www.myrental.com and/or www.experian.com/connect).
You might also insist your chosen tenant(s) carry Renters Insurance. Good luck!
Definitely having a professional assist in the process is always a good thing in any situation. Hiring people that know the industry, field, or trade is very important. Property managers usually are well equiped to get you a good headache free tenant.However if you elect not to use a property management company, then I would get any inside tips from other Landlord's...also, to check their credit, I would have a local lender do that. Depending what state you're in, you can collect for Application fee's and or credit report checks to cover the cost. The Lender will help give explanation to the credit report with of course written authorization. Good luck to you. I strongly believe with two thumbs to being a Landlord, especailly if the numbers are right! Go out get you about 10 properties around $25K to $50k get them paid off with the rents and rent them for $1000+/- rent...you can do that in TEXAS!
I'll find you a good tenant, and run their credit. We have an extensive application process. Email me if you're interested. Lsalter@ardorny.com
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For Sale: $445,000
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For Sale: $465,000