Pre-Screen Prospective Tenants Prior To Showing Your Rental Home

Pre-Screen Potential Tenants Over The Phone 


Yea!  Your house is ready to rent, the phone is ringing and people want to see your house!  It is time to pre-screen potential tenants for your wonderful rental.  What a great feeling!










It is exciting when you start getting phone calls about seeing your rental property.  You sigh in relief because you know it will rent fast!  Before you grab your keys and run out the door to jump in your car and drive to your rental, you need take a step back and be sure these people can actually afford your house.


Getting a good tenant requires a lot of homework and just plain good luck sometimes. 


[ctt template=”5″ link=”1cAfe” via=”no” ]Quit wasting your time showing a rental home before you pre-screen any potential tenants![/ctt]


pre-screen potential tenants

Pre-Screen Potential Tenants

Before you waste your time running over to show your home, talk to every single person that calls and do a quick pre-screen.


Taking the time to pre-screen potential tenants over the phone will save you a lot of time and aggravation.  If you are one of those people that do not like to talk on the phone to people they have not met, get over it. 


There is no way around that unless you like to waste your time, driving around, meeting people, who will never in a million years, qualify to rent a property from you. 


The bottom line is that, as much as you may hate it, taking the time to talk to these people, for just a few minutes, will save you a lot of frustration in the long run. 



Crazy People, Nice People, Broke People

You will talk to talk to people who don’t have a clue, who will have you rolling your eyes and shaking your head, who will have you pulling your hair out and you may eventually wonder why, oh why, you ever decided to rent your property! 


But, you will also talk to some very nice people who are very interesting, even if they can’t ever qualify to rent your house.


Why waste your time with someone that has a sketchy rental history, a spotted, job hopping employment history and / or serious credit issues.



That’s Not Fair!!!  

If the prospective tenants object and say


“But, I just want to see it first”,


Stop and ask yourself what are they trying to hide?


When you are trying to find a new job, would you refuse to answer questions about yourself in this situation or think they were being ridiculous? 


Would you be rude or not follow specific instructions? 


I have had several people call about our available properties actually be rude to me when I was just asking routine questions to make sure they met very basic minimum requirements. 


They wouldn’t tell me their name, or didn’t want to tell me if they had a job or how much their monthly income was. 


I have had people hang up on me as well.  I shudder to think how they would treat me down the road if I had actually rented to them! 


Pre-Screening Questions

Before you agree to show any rental home, you should ask at least these 4 questions to make sure you are not wasting your time or the prospective client’s time.

  1. An income of at least 3 times the rent.
  1. Been on their current job at least 1 year.
  2. Been in their current home at least 1 year.
  3. No evictions filed on them in the last 3 years.


There is no reason to waste your time showing your property without some minimum guidelines in place.


Asking these four questions will tell you if this person has enough income to pay the rent and all of their bills and has a stable income and rental history.


Take The Time To Ask  

Asking these four questions allows you to screen out anyone who is not as stable. 


There are always exceptions and you do need to use your listening skills and ask questions.


For example, if the person has been on this job less than a year, ask where he worked before.


Some people stay at the same job for years and only move to get better pay and opportunities.


That is a lot different than someone who hops from fast food job to fast food job every few months.


[ctt template=”11″ link=”48_dj” via=”no” ]There is no reason to waste your time showing your property without some minimum guidelines in place.[/ctt]


Look at it this way, anyone can find a bad tenant!  Your challenge is to talk to everyone you meet and listen to what they have to say, ask relevant questions and find that great tenant.


The one that all landlords dream about but usually don’t take the time to find!




Kentucky Dog Bite Laws – Pending Changes

dog bite law

Dog Bite Laws

Do you know the dog bite laws in your state?  If you don’t, you need to look them up because they vary greatly from state to state.

Did you know that the owner of the dog is liable in more than half of the states?  The way the law is written in Kentucky, the Landlord is also the owner of the dog which makes the landlord responsible if the dog bites someone.  

The dog doesn’t usually even have to physically attack someone but if an injury results from someone running away or falling, the dog owner (Landlord) is still responsible!

What happens if your tenant has a dog you don’t know about and it bites someone?  If you don’t know, consult an attorney that is familiar with the dog bite laws in your area.

 [ctt template=”5″ link=”Vz8Mr” via=”no” ]Do you know the dog bite law in your area?[/ctt]

Senate Bill 4: A Legal Analysis


January 26, 2017


Brent R. Baughman


A pending bill (SB 4) – which establishes medical review panels as a means of vetting medical malpractice claims prior to litigation – will become law (it has already passed in the Senate) and then almost certainly face a constitutional challenge from the Kentucky Justice Association (the leading plaintiffs’ bar group).  Continue reading . . . 

How To Build Your Rental Business Without Cash, Credit or A Bank

build your rental business

Build your rental business without cash, credit or a bank.


When you are a new landlord who is trying to build your rental business, things are much easier if you actually have cash.  You don’t need approval from anyone and you can just go buy the house you want.

In a perfect world, your life as a landlord would be so easy!


But, we all know that most people don’t have extra cash just laying around. One of the most common problems facing real estate investors is the lack of funds.  I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who say they would just love to get a few houses and rent them.  But, they don’t have that kind of cash laying around and the bank won’t loan them any money!


It seems impossible to buy properties to rent if you don’t have cash, credit or a bank willing to loan you money.  So, these potential landlords throw up their hands and walk away from their dream.  They are like the majority of people out there who don’t know how to buy a house without a mortgage. You need to learn how to build your rental business without cash, credit or a bank.


[ctt template=”5″ link=”9fTEX” via=”no” ]You don’t need cash, credit or a bank to build your rental portfolio![/ctt]


If that is the only thing stopping you then you need to check out this interview that Sharon Vornholt did with Jim Ingersoll.







Continue reading

Learn How To Show Your Rental Home Without Risking Your Life


Be Safe.  Show your rental home without risking your life! Safety first when showing your rental home should always, always be your first priority. The house is ready and the time has come to start showing it to prospective tenants.  It can be an exciting and nerve wracking time when you start showing your rental home.


You are a very important person and you are very vulnerable when you show a home to prospective tenants. Remember to always put safety first when you start showing your rental homes.


I am going to assume you have already gone through the pre-screening process and are only showing your house to people who have:

  1. An income of at least 3 times the rent.
  2. Been on their current job at least 1 year.
  3. Been in their current home at least 1 year.
  4. No evictions filed on them in the last 3 years.


[ctt template=”5″ link=”kf3U2″ via=”no” ]Remember to always put safety first when you start showing your rental homes[/ctt]


There is no reason to waste your time showing your property without some minimum guidelines in place.



Safety First 


Remember, you have not met these prospective tenants, you don’t know them and you should not trust them. 


It is your job to keep YOU safe at all times.  It is easy to learn how to show your rental home without risking your life just by taking some common sense steps.




  • Make sure someone knows where you will be.
  • Check in with that person when the showing is over.
  • Have a list of the names and numbers of the prospective tenants.
  • Make sure the power is on to the house.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early and turn on all the lights.
  • If you feel unsafe, make up an excuse to stay outside or in your vehicle and let them go in by themselves. I usually say I have a phone call that I must return but go on in and I will be with you shortly.



Buddy System

I always let someone know when I am going to be showing a rental property. Luckily, I have never had a problem and everyone has always been very nice. But, you just never know and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Then check with your contact when you are done showing so that they know you are OK.



Vacant Homes

Most of our homes are vacant when we show them.  It is easier to show a vacant home and you don’t have the current tenant’s stuff distracting a prospective tenant. But, it is important to have the utilities on so that the house can be well lit for the showing. It is safer for you as well.



My Procedure

As a woman, I always arrive early, unlock the main door, turn on all of the lights, tour the house, leave a rental application on the kitchen counter and then allow them to go into the home without me.  I tend to stay outside or in my vehicle, although that is not always the case but I do feel much safer that way. 



Tenant Experience

Allowing them to go in by themselves gives them the chance to look at the home privately. I want them to picture themselves living in the house and deciding where to place the furniture.  They can also talk privately among themselves and usually come up with a list of questions to ask me.



At The End

When they come out, I will answer any questions that they might have.  When they leave, I go back in, turn everything off, check that all of the windows and doors are still locked and then I leave.  Always check the windows and doors because many times they will unlock them so they can get back in late!


Follow Up – What Did They Think?

You will find that, in my experience at least, prospective tenants say they love the house and want to get an application. 

Then, a week or two goes by and you haven’t heard from them.


I always give them a day or two to process and then I touch base with them. Ask them if they have any questions or concerns.


Sometimes they are waiting until payday to bring the application fee, or they have just been busy with work and family or maybe they have changed their minds about the house.


Following up gives you some closure as well.  It may sound crazy, but I hate it when I talk to someone, really like them over the phone, then meet them and really like them in person and then NEVER hear from them again.


I really like honest feedback.  Did they think the rent was too high, too far from their job, was something “wrong” with the house that I didn’t consider.  That is just me and you may not care!




Safety – Final Thoughts

Some of you may roll your eyes after reading this and think I am being too cautious.  It is not really that hard to make a few changes so that you can show your rental home without risking your life. 


However, random people are robbed and or killed every single day. 


They were usually just minding their own business and going about their day.


By showing a house to someone you don’t know, you are setting yourself up to be alone and isolated so BE CAREFUL!


[ctt template=”11″ link=”wU674″ via=”no” ]Remember, you have not met these prospective tenants, you don’t know them and you should not trust them. [/ctt]

Continue reading

What To Do When Your Tenant Can’t Pay Rent

tenant can't pay rent

Your Tenant Can’t Pay Rent

Hearing that your tenant can’t pay rent is something that no landlord wants to hear. You are a landlord and you hope that your tenants will pay their rent each and every month, in full and on time. 



The reality is that most of your tenants will pay their rent on time.  But, even if you have GREAT tenants, at some point in time, someone will not be able to pay their rent for whatever reason.


[ctt template=”5″ link=”4EevH” via=”no” ]Regardless of what the situation is, you need to follow your eviction procedures. [/ctt]


Tenant Can’t Pay Rent Excuses

As a landlord, you will hear lots of different excuses but the most common ones are:

  1. Lost a job
  2. Laid off from a job
  3. Too sick to go to job
  4. Car broke down and couldn’t go to work
  5. Someone died and I had to pay for the funeral


What Does That Mean?

If you are lucky, the excuse you are given is any of the above EXCEPT “I lost my job”. Once your tenant loses his job, that means he isn’t getting paid.  Even if he gets a job right away, you won’t get paid for at least two weeks.

The other situations mean money will still be coming into their household and they should be able to get caught up much more quickly.


What Should You Do?tenant can't pay rent

Regardless of what the situation is, you need to follow your eviction procedures as soon as your tenant says I can’t pay rent this month.  Even if your tenant says he will pay on the 14th, it is still very late. You need to know what steps you need to take and that can vary by state.


In Kentucky:

  1. Send the 7 day letter
  2. Get a court date
  3. File the eviction
  4. Schedule the set out
  5. Perform the set out


7 Day Letter

If you live in Kentucky, the first thing you do is send a 7 day letter that basically says “Pay or get out”. You can send this letter on the 2nd day of the month if you wish or you can give the tenant a couple of days to get rent paid.


Get A Court Date

The 7 day letter is so named because 7 days after you send this letter, you can call your eviction attorney and start the second step of the eviction process.  You use the day the letter is sent as Day 1.


Court Date

At the court date, your attorney or you, will attend and possibly your tenant. If your tenant does show, he or she will be asked if they owe the money and if they plan to pay.  If the tenant can’t pay rent at that time, the judge will advise him that he has 8 days to pay you the rent and fees owed or get out.


File The Eviction

On the 8th day after you have been to court, you can call your attorney to get the ball rolling to schedule the eviction.  Either you or your attorney will get the paperwork to the sheriff and once they have it, they can proceed to the next step.



Schedule The Set Out

You can get a set out date once the sheriff has the paperwork which can take anywhere from one week to several weeks depending on how busy it is. They will post a “scare notice” that basically tells them they have a day or two to get out but in reality, they actual date will be several days or a week out.


Set Out Day

When you schedule the set out, the sheriff will tell you how many people you must have present at the property to move the people out. If you show up without them, they will leave.  The sheriff’s are there to enforce the set out order and to protect you.  They are not there to help you move all of the tenant’s stuff out of the rental unit.



Know The Law

This is how the process works in Kentucky. You MUST be familiar with the laws in your area so that when a tenant can’t pay rent, you will know what to do. I strongly recommend contacting an attorney and having them detail the process for you.


Evicting a tenant is never a fun process.  We will discuss some ways to avoid a set out in a future article.




Most Unique Excuse For Not Paying Rent



I was in a train rech so I have been down. Am sending you $235 and I will have the rest by August 18, 2015 plus the late fees. I will contact you or you can contact me.?”






Follow me on Facebook and get more Common Sense Landlording tips.






Continue reading

Should You Consider Renting With A Co-Signer?

Should You Consider Renting With A Co-Signer If A Potential Tenant Has Bad Credit?

Sometimes, you are faced with having to rent a house with a co-signer.  Having a vacant property is never good for the bottom line and it can be very stressful for every landlord out there.  


Goals When You Have A Vacant

  1. Get the old tenant out
  2. Clean up the mess they left ASAP
  3. Advertise the house Fully screen all potential tenants
  4. Get the lease signed and collect the fees
  5. Get the tenant moved in
  6. Pray they stay for years and always pay the rent on time



[ctt template=”5″ link=”P5yEs” via=”no” ]Should You Accept A Co-Signer If A Potential Tenant Has Bad Credit?[/ctt]

Continue reading

Are You Ready To Be A Landlord?

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Landlord


When you hear the word “Landlord”, what adjectives come to mind to describe this person?

  • Lucky
  • Rich
  • Fun
  • Crazy
  • Broke
  • Hard


Any and all of these adjectives can be used to describe almost every landlord at some point.


Continue reading