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Ask Dave

Not Getting Burned Again

Marie had a bad experience with renters in the past, and asks Dave how she can keep from repeating it.

QUESTION: Marie retired and relocated, and is renting her old home out. She has been burned many times. How can she check credit and credit scores on people to whom she rents, and does she need to account for boyfriends or girlfriends who move in?

ANSWER: Have a lease that states who occupies the property, and if anyone else tries to move in, it is cause for default and eviction of the real tenant. People who have boyfriends and girlfriends moving in and out do not make good tenants. Just pull a copy of their credit bureau reports and look at their credit score. Check references as well and get an application. Have them put a really big deposit and clean up fees. That way, you’re in a good position with them.