Check out their Current Residence

Check out their Current Residence

There are facts about your prospective tenants that will make you decline to rent to them. To determine some of these facts you need to check out their current residence before accepting the applicants. This is not a violation of the Fair Housing or discrimination laws. These facts are not based upon race, sex, gender identification status, socioeconomic status or lifestyle. This is based ENTIRELY upon housekeeping. Sometimes pigs are pigs and the only thing you will accomplish for them is to change the address of their sty.

One might make the mistake of thinking this is only a problem when renting to low and middle income residents. You may even make the mistake of thinking it only happens when renting property in marginal, challenging, or depressed inner city areas. You would be wrong. Pigs can earn a great living, live in a nice area and trash your place no matter how much money they have.

Check out their Current Residence Before Accepting Applicants

It may be inconvenient, time consuming, and a pain in your lower extremity but you should always check out their Current Residence Before Accepting Applicants. Having practiced what I preach I would never let an applicant become a resident without seeing how and where they live now. This should be the cornerstone of every landlord’s tenant screening process.

Odors and Objects

Make it a point to drop by and check out the current residence of any prospective resident. This is a crucial step in the tenant screening process. When you pull to the curb in front of their current residence, what do you see? Check out their yard. Is the grass cut? Are there cars up on blocks? Is there debris in the yard? Are the trash cans overflowing? It may be time to drive on.

Walk up to the front door. Before knocking take a deep breath. Does this smell like something you want infusing itself into your rental? Does everything smell daisy fresh or is there a faint or overpowering something you don’t want? They will even bring the odors with them and it will be settled in with 30 days of their arrival.

If and when the door opens does it open wide or just a crack? Do they peer out and block your view of the interior? If so, what are they hiding? Does the door open wide and allow you a view of a pristine palace or a slum ready to pack and go?

If you are brave enough to go inside ask to sit at the kitchen table to clear up some information on their application. If denied entry or you wouldn’t dare step foot in the house you are finished screening this applicant.

Free Look – Check out their Current Residence

Pay attention to what you see and smell at the current home of your prospective resident. This is the only free preview of what your rental will be like 30 days after they move in. No ifs, ands, buts or maybes.


Dirty tenants are a pain. When they move out you will be left with a mess to clean up. Wouldn’t it be better to let them stay where they are and avoid all that extra cleaning? Want to learn more join the illinois Real Estate Investors Association at

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