Creative Commons License credit: droooooLandlords have a lot of responsibility, and not following through can lead to a lot of financial problems and legal problems in the end. But, if you take your responsibilities seriously from the get go you can alleviate your future liabilities. Pick the right renters. One of the most important things you can do as a landlord is renting to the right tenants. Start with a written application and use that information to find the credit history, references, and any background information that may be pertinent. Once you have that information, follow up. Don’t assume that because the person listed references they’re good. Call and check to make sure the person is in good standing. Contact their previous landlords, this is where you?ll get some of the most valuable information for your particular situation.

And even then, don?t take the references word at face value. Run a credit check to make sure the prospective tenant has the financial means to pay their bills and that they have a history of paying on time. Use the internet to your advantage and check local arrest records, you don?t want to rent to someone who has a criminal history that involves kiting checks, lawsuits with other rental agencies or someone who currently has an outstanding arrest warrant. Once you’ve done your due diligence and are certain that you have a good applicant at hand, have a sit down meeting with them and use your best judgment and instincts to make sure this is a tenant that will be well liked by others in your building and will be respectful of your property.