There are lots of different tenants out there. Some times it amazes me how often a landlord will end up stuck dealing with a tenant bound and determined to cause trouble who has a record for it.
With the technology of this age it is much easier to get a hold of records and numbers. The first thing any landlord should do is run a tenant screening on the potential tenant. Make sure to use a legit company, preferably one a member of the BBB like http://www.tenantverification.com/ and http://www.atenantscreen.com/. Don’t just run a credit check, get a national criminal record check done, get their eviction record searched.
Then comes the fun part. Its time to do some research. Check arrest records, you will be amazed by some of the things you can learn. If someone has been arrested multiple times it is probably best to not rent to them, even if they were never convicted. Either they keep getting luck or they hang out with people you don’t want visiting your apartment.
Check the news. You won’t believe how many tenants have taken multiple landlords to court and then go find a new landlord to rip off.
Call jobs. I once had a potential tenant make up a fake pay stub. I called the place they were suppose to be working and found out that said person had been fired 6 months ago for stealing.
Talk to past landlords. Sometimes problem tenants don’t have records. Its not against the law to be a pain and your not likely to find records on how often they called their landlord to complain over stupid things.
For more tips http://www.tenantsinfo.com/ is a good source of landlord tenant information.