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I would insist upon references - both job references (to verify a steady income) and also previous rental experience. You can get a world of info. from the previous landlord. A steady job history will help to ensure that you receive steady rental income. If you are living nearby, or if their are children in the area, you may want to have a criminal background check run. These can usually be obtained at the local school district office for a nominal fee (by renter having fingerprint taken). Of course you want to know if they can come up with whatever deposit (s) you require. If an older apt. or building and you are unsure of the lead content on windows, door frames, etc., you may not want to rent to families with young children due to exposure of lead risk (and consequent very costly repairs to you). You must have some sort of contract or lease to protect yourself - these do not need to be prepared by a lawyer, and can be found at libraries or on the net. You must realize too that the risk of renting is that you have all of the repairs/maintenance expense and that should be factored into the monthly rent. Likewise utility bills should be entirely out of your name and the responsibility of the tenant (or built into the rent).

2006-09-01 17:17:17
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