How to choose the right tenants in Chicago IL

by Oct 6, 2021

You have an investment property in Chicago, but it sits vacant because you can’t find the right tenants. Now what?

Do you sell your house fast in Chicago, Illinois, and cut your losses or do you find the right tenants?

Both sound like a lot of work, but if you’re looking for regular cash flow and an appreciating investment, choosing the right tenants will help you achieve your goals. It all starts with screening to find the right tenants in Chicago, IL.

Here’s how.

Set your Criteria

You can’t find the right tenants unless you set your own criteria. What’s the ‘right tenant’ for you? Are you looking for a tenant who?

  • Has stable income
  • Stays in a rental for several years
  • Has good credit
  • Has a clean background check

These are just a few ideas to help you determine what you want out of your tenants. Think about what will help you sleep at night and set your criteria.

Learn how to Screen Tenants

Once you know what you want in a tenant, you’ll need the proper screening to find the right tenants in Chicago, IL. Here are a few common checks landlords do to screen tenants.

Credit check

A credit check tells you if an applicant pays his/her bills on time, uses too much credit, and has any public records. Read the entire credit report, looking at the score, payment history, and use of credit. Anyone who overextends their use of credit pays bills late, or has public records (bankruptcy, foreclosure) probably isn’t a good risk.

Background check

You can conduct background checks yourself, but it’s time-consuming and frustrating. Instead, you may consider paying for a background check and get the information you need on an applicant. There are many online services you can pay for or have the tenant pay for to get the screening done. A background check looks at both serious and minor offenses to help you decide.

Tenant history

Ask all applicants for contact information from their last two to three landlords. Ask the landlords pointed questions including:

  • Verify the owner of the property!
  • Did the applicant rent from you?
  • What dates did he/she rent from you?
  • Did the tenant pay his/her rent on time?
  • Did the tenant take proper care of the property?

Pay attention to the dates – how often does the applicant bounce from property to property? This could help you determine if the applicant is a good risk for you.

Employment verification

You may not want a tenant that doesn’t have a job or changes jobs frequently. Verify the applicant’s employer, dates of employment, attendance, and income. Pay attention to any red flags, such as changing jobs frequently or missing work frequently.

Tip when verifying employment is to google the company to reach the employer instead of calling the number given by the applicant.

Know the Local Laws

Every area has different landlord laws. Know the area’s laws so you know what criteria you can use for screening to find the right tenants in Chicago, IL.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right tenant could mean the difference between making regular cash flow and being forced to sell your house fast in Chicago, IL. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your house fast because you did not vet your tenants properly and they have stopped paying rent or destroying your property, give us a call. Landlords work with us for reasons including convenience, speed and less hassle than going the traditional route of listing a house with an agent. You can also book a call with us or you can simply fill out our online form and we will get back to you promptly.


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