Many landlords don’t like to screen their tenants thoroughly. In fact, some landlords seem to require only that the tenant have enough money to pay the deposit and the first month’s rent (some don’t even go that far).
However, prudent landlords are getting smarter about screening their tenants. Picking a good tenant up front reduces headaches down the line. In the wake of the country’s economic downturn, more and more tenants have bad credit, so landlords need to look deeper into rental application information.
One method I suggest is to ask the tenant to provide the paystubs from their last two or three paychecks. The paystubs will confirm that the tenant is employed and will verify the tenant’s income. When the rental application does not add up with the information provided by the tenant or the tenant can’t provide the requested information, warning bells should be going off in the landlord’s head.
Landlords should rigorously screen their tenants. For more thoughts on tenant screening, see my article on the Art of Screening.