1. Honesty / Integrity: Trust, reliability, and decency are what comes to mind as qualities of an honest person with integrity.
2. Creditworthiness: Does the applicant or tenant have a good track record concerning credit? Technology is now available that can provide creditworthiness information in a matter of minutes. Find out how the applicant or tenant pays their creditors each month. This can indicate how they will pay you for rent. Do they pay on time, or do they pay slow or not at all?
3. Ability to Pay Does the tenant have sufficient income or other resources to easily pay the rent and other living expenses every month? Is the tenant employed or just independently wealthy? Does the tenant depend on any other parties to survive? The answers to these questions will tell you how secure the tenancy will be.
4. Cleanliness A clean tenant has higher standards than a dirty tenant. It is a fact that clean tenant will care for your rental property better than a dirty tenant. Call prior landlords for rental references and ask them about the condition of the property during the rental period and after the tenant had moved out. A quick call to the previous landlord can save you time and money from renting your property to someone who will cause harm to your property.
5. Respect This is an important one. Does the applicant or tenant respect you as a landlord? One of the biggest mistakes a landlord can make is to step outside the professional title and become friends with the tenant. This can lead to the mishandling of situations such as past due rent. Once the tenant knows they can continually go past due and continue to ask for extensions, you have lost the respect from the tenant. This can lead to an eviction and could be prevented by maintaining a professional relationship as a landlord.