My first rental question

I have my first rental and I put it in the paper and 22 people have called about it. Its cheap, old house 425.00. 10 have looked at it and want it. How do I choose who to rent it to? What do you look for on a rental app or wiil not overlook?

Do you guys make renters sign a lease from the start or do you see how they pay first? Thanks for any help as I don;t want to chase renters or evicy

Do a search on here for “tenant screening” and you’ll find lots of good information. You also read some horror stories about what can happen if you don’t screen your tenants well. If you’re going to rent to someone, definitely have a lease. Look up Landlord/Tenant laws in your state to find out what’s legal and what’s not. What is your rental market like with respect to price? If you’ve had that much interest and 10 people want in, maybe you could make a little more money on it. Look for job history. Verify it. Call their supervisor and see how long they’ve been employed there and what their wages are. You want them to have at least 2.5 to 3 times monthly income as what you’re asking for rent. Call prior landlords. A good tip from here is to call the past two landlords. Their current landlord may be willing to sugar coat anything to get them out of there if they are a problem tenant. If you can’t get prior landlord information about them, investigate why. I currently have a guy wanting in one of my units that doesn’t have recent prior information because he was married, owned his own house, and is now going through a divorce and living with his parents. I verified his story by seeing his divorce on the court website. Look up your local court website and see if you can search the public records for your proposed tenant. See if they’ve been in trouble with the law. Johnny that smokes crack and beats his wife isn’t magically going to be a wonderful tenant for you. Get a security deposit. Tip - Make it slightly less than the monthly rent so the tenant can’t skip out on the monthly rent and tell you to keep the deposit for the last month’s rent. They need to know the deposit is for damages beyond normal wear and tear. If they use that for the last month’s rent, you’ve got nothing left but your wallet when you find holes in the wall you have to repair or doors that need replaced. Get the deposit up front. If you let them in without it, you likely won’t see the rest of the deposit. So someone who has a stable job with decent income, enough money to pay the deposit and first month’s rent, no serious history with the law, etc. would be my first choice. This will narrow down your pool. Some people may say they don’t have that much money up front. Tell them to borrow it if needed. Absolutely have a lease in place. Different people have different opinions about whether to do a year lease or month to month, but at least any lease will lay out some stipulations so you can get them out of there if they are violating your lease.