What exactly does the so-called “tenant from hell” look like, and how do landlords end up renting to such people in the first place?

Obviously, sub-par tenants don’t put “party animal” or “pays rent late” on their applications. Nor will they willingly supply the name and contact information of the landlord whose unit they left damaged years ago.

So how do you avoid the bad tenants?

We attribute our low eviction rate (less than 1%) to our process of delving into applications to highlight the best, beyond just identifying those with obvious warning signs. Red flags like low credit score don’t tell the applicants’ whole story, and may in fact cause you to disqualify a perfectly good tenant. Recently divorced applicants, for example, while perhaps presenting temporarily sub-par financials, might well embody the ideal tenant in terms of salary, references, and fitting well in your unit.

On the other side of that coin, while credit scores and employment history are important pieces of the puzzle, those measurements just scratch the surface of a tenant’s suitability for your property.

A good tenant is a cornerstone of a profitable, low-hassle property investment. The hidden costs of managing a problem tenant, whether in chasing rent or resolving disputes, can erode your profit just as quickly as your patience.

In 20 years of finding and screening tenants, we’ve found that finding the right tenant contributes to investor success as much any other factor. It pays to take as much care in finding a suitable tenant as you would to finding a suitable investment property.