So you've decided to rent out your home. But where to begin? Everyone knows having tenants can be risky, so how do you go about ensuring you will get reliable tenants?
The best chance of finding responsible tenants is by word of mouth. Once you start looking around, let your friends know. You may end up with a friend of a friend who is someone you can trust. As this isn't always the case, and you might have to deal with strangers, conduct thorough interviews. Have the potential renter bring references from any other apartment they were in, and ask them to sign for a credit check. It is important to know some history about your potential tenant ahead of time to avoid some serious problems later on during the tenancy agreement. Don't rent out your home to just anyone! Check them out thoroughly.
During the interview process, be sure to include specific questions. If you allow pets, make sure you know prior to the tenant moving in what pet they have, how many, etc. If you have a "no pet" rule, be very up front about this as well. Same goes for smoking. You'll have happier tenants if they know what your expectations are on them, and you'll be assured that they will comply.