“Renters Can Make You Go Broke If You Don’t Know What You’re Doing”

I don’t like tenants. I won’t kid you. They aren’t fun to deal with and they can be a pain in the butt. But… they can make you a pile of money and they can be fairly easy to deal with IF you set things up right.
 Here is what you need to learn…


The Most Important Thing To Learn Is How To Screen And Qualify Your Tenants!


You may be tempted to just take any renter that comes along without any background check because they “seem nice enough.”

NEVER, EVER, EVER, MAKE THIS MISTAKE! (this is different than my position on lease option tenant, by the way)

a. People are not always what they seem.

b. Good areas are always in demand.

c. It is better to have a vacancy than a bad tenant.

Yes, you read that right… I’ll say it again.

It is better to have a vacancy than a bad tenant.

It costs more to get rid of a bad tenant and fix their damage than it costs to have a vacant house.

The first step is say this to all prospective tenants that call you:


For Rent Sign in Front of New Home“Thanks for calling. That home is an excellent one, and it is still available. I’d be happy to show it to you. But first, I should tell you that we require a $35 non-refundable application fee and that all references and past landlords are checked, in addition to a credit report.

Prior to move in we require the first month’s rent, a security deposit of $XX, and a refundable cleaning deposit of $75. Do you still want to see it??”

You will eliminate most of the bad tenants right then and there. If they know that you are going to check them out, and they have a lousy record, they won’t even waste their time (or yours).

You may be thinking that by following these rules you might not get any tenants. NOT TRUE. Nice, sharp looking homes in good areas are always in demand.



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  1. Kale Harmon
    May 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm · Reply

    This is so incredibly true. You need to definitely do all your homework on potential renters and adopt practices that will weed out potential problems early. I always like to have multiple meetings with possible tenants before deciding to rent them my property – once in office and once to show them the unit. You get a better sense of the person after you deal with all the paperwork.

  2. cmarten
    May 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm · Reply

    About 10 years ago, I bought a 4-unit house in a quiet but low-income community for a steal. Invested a bit of money to fix it up, update plumbing and get it painted. I thought that renting out this building would make me tons of money with very few headaches. I’m a pretty good judge of character and could verify income easily enough.

    Never again. I will stick with selling homes outright and then not having to worry about what the people do with it.

  3. February 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm · Reply

    High standards right off the bat, but you’re right, outlining fees and standards will most certainly weed out unsavory tenants (or ones who are less likely to keep up on their rent payments). It’s true, successful real estate depends so much on finding good tenants. Thanks for this informative, interesting post.

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