The topsy turvy real estate climate has turned many of us into accidental landlords, which means the homes we are trying to sell just won’t, so we need to rent them out. In that vein, we are seeing more rental questions in Zillow Advice about how to rent, such as this one from Dadbo1 in Kennesaw, GA who asks:

How do you check the credit-worthiness of a renter?

Real estate agent Carl Lyday provides some great feedback: Don’t focus solely on credit-worthiness, but look at their eviction rate and make sure you do a criminal background check. Excellent advice.

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  • Jeff

    As a real estate agent, here is the advice I give my clients when checking out potential tenants:
    1) Credit Check- past history is a good indication of future behavior
    2) Background Check- make sure to ask for references from previous landlords- and actually call and check!
    3) Proof of employment and income- everything else might lookk good but if your tenant doesn’t have a job, there may be an issue with paying the rent.

  • Houses for Sale MN

    Jeff did a nice job above summarizing the areas to investigate when screening a tenant. In addition, I like to conduct a Criminal Background screen to check for previous evictions or felony charges. Good luck!

  • Shoreview Homes

    I check for 5 things:
    1) Credit (don’t need to have a high credit score, just demonstrates fiscal responsibility)
    2) Criminal (evictions or felonies)
    3) Employment (are they employed & do they make what they say they make?)
    4) Rental History (would their previous landlord rent to them again?)
    5) Do they have the full deposit and 1st month’s rent available in one lump?

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