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Edward J. Jennings P.A Motto

Screening Tenants To Prevent Future Issues


Being a landlord is no easy task. While many tenants are easy to work with and pay their rent on time, many do not. Many refuse to pay and even trash their place, causing extreme distress for landlords.

When a landlord makes a bad decision and chooses the wrong tenant, it can be a frustrating situation. They can even lose money and the outcome can sour their experience as a landlord.

Landlords have many complaints against tenants. Many pay their rent late or not at all. Tenants may also refuse to pay utility bills, causing the water or electricity to be shut off.  Some tenants also fail to take care of the landlord’s property. They may be hard to contact. Some even complain about every little thing and even vent their problems on social media sites.

Are you a landlord who wants to avoid these issues? Here’s how to screen possible tenants and avoid landlord/tenant disputes.

Look for the Bare Minimum

First, make sure the applicant has the background that makes them a good renter. Ideally, they should have a good credit score, history of steady employment, references and no prior evictions. They should also have a monthly income that is three times the rent amount. However, that can be difficult for many people right now, especially during the pandemic. You may wish to work out some kind of compromise so you don’t lose out on a good renter because they have enough money to pay rent, but they don’t necessarily meet the income requirements.

Get a Background Check

A background check can uncover things such as criminal history, which most landlords agree is more important than credit history. A background check can also check a person’s education, employment history and credit history, all which can be useful in helping landlords make decisions about tenants.

Ask About Timeline/Pets

Some people are ready to move in right away, while others can’t move in until the summer. Make sure the timeline fits your needs.

Also, make sure the potential tenant understands your pet policy. Do you allow them? If so, is there a deposit involved? Do you have exceptions for smaller pets, such as birds or hamsters?

Get a Feel for Stability

You want someone who will be around for a while. You don’t want to have to deal with a vacancy again in a few months. Therefore, you should inquire about where the tenant has lived before and for how long. However, if they appear to hop around from place to place several times a year, then they will likely do the same to you, so beware.

Seek Legal Help

While many landlords can be difficult to deal with, many landlord/tenant issues arise when a tenant does not behave properly or follow the rules. Landlords can find the best tenants by taking the time to properly screen them.

Fort Lauderdale landlord/tenant dispute resolution lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can assist you with legal matters in the real estate field. Let us help you resolve your issues. Schedule a consultation today by calling 954-764-4330 or filling out the online form.


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The first step in solving your legal problem is to meet with a skilled, experienced lawyer in a confidential setting to discuss your matter. After getting to know you and your unique situation, your attorney can explain your options and guide you toward the best path to resolution. Whether you need general advice or are in the midst of a serious legal dispute, the law office of Edward J. Jennings, P.A. is here for you. Are you contemplating litigation, or have you recently been served with a lawsuit? Fill out the form below to schedule a consultation with an attorney at our firm.

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