Ultimate Guide to Tenant Screening & Renting Your House

92 Replies

We just completed one of the more important guides for landlords and I thought it important that we make it visible here on the forums. These are both MUST-READS!

Tenant Screening: The Ultimate Guide
At over 5,000+ Words -- This Ultimate Guide to Tenant Screening (plus infographic) is the perfect reference tool for both novice and experienced landlords alike.

We also recommend everyone take time to check out:

How To Rent Your House: The Definitive Step by Step Guide
Whether you are a seasoned pro or a new landlord, this definitive guide will teach you, step by step, how to rent your house to new tenants with success.

I have used smartmove and it has worked out great. The problem I am now running into is on some of my low income housing, they don't have access to the internet. So getting them to get access to a computer, then get online and fill out the application is quite tough.

Anyone have suggestions for tenant screening companies where you don't need an email address for the tenant? I basically have them fill out the application by hand and sign a disclosure/release at the end so I can verify credit, background check, and other info they have.

@Andrew Kerr  

I have run into the same issue and here are a few suggestions:

1) Use an iPad and allow the tenant to use it right there on the spot.  This of course still requires them to have an email.  You might even help them or encourage them to obtain an email address that they can check at the library.

2) I believe I have contacted MySmartMove and they had an alternative process that allowed you to do a manual check outside of the required email address.  It might be worth checking into.  

3) You can also get approved yourself to run credit checks over the phone by registering with certain credit check companies.  Often they will need to come out and verify your location, business, and see if you have a shredder and other necessary business equipment I believe.

I will say that now that I have been using the management software Buildium (that integrates with MySmartMove btw) I have been amazed by how many people, including lower income, are searching for rentals, applying, and even paying rent on their phones.

Best of luck to you.

Just wanted to do a shout out for this one 


This is the best.  It has helped me to find drama free tenants who take care of the place time and time again.  I don't use the screenig service recommended and I add a 600+ credit score required.  It might take an extra week or two to find the right tenant, but it's so worth it for a drama free experience.