Criminal background checks
, consumer credit reports
and interviews with previous landlords are all useful tools when it comes to determining whether a prospective tenant will pay the rent on time and respect the property.
Unfortunately, some new renters don't have a rental or credit history yet, leaving landlords with a few empty spaces on the good tenant checklist. But an applicant who comes up with a blank credit history doesn't have to be automatically denied a lease, according to StockMarketsReview.com. Even an applicant with limited information can be thoroughly screened. A background check
that shows the prospective tenant has no criminal history
, is employed and earns enough to cover the cost of rent - or has a cosigner who does - is a promising first step. If the applicant also shows attentiveness and responsibility during the process and is willing to put down additional security deposit money, a landlord can safely assume he or she will make a good tenant, the website writes. The screening process can be laborious, but it's worth the investment of time. Some cities are moving to increase landlord accountability for disruptive tenants, as The Forecaster of Portland, Maine, reported its city council plans to do.