Today there are endless options to advertise your Baltimore rental property to improve the chances of finding prospective tenants. And when you advertise a vacant property to rent, you hope to find a good fit. The one who is qualified has a good rental history, has a good job, and has no criminal background.

Well, real estate is a competitive business so, it is quite normal to get a huge number of applicants who are interested in renting a property. If you are one of those landlords who has received multiple qualified applicants then this will give you the power on being selective to the tenants that best fits your criteria. 

But whereas some landlords consider it as an opportunity, this becomes a problem for some landlord who gets confused because of an inability to select the right tenant when many applicants fit the standards of a perfect tenant at the same time. 

Well, this is a difficult situation for those who fail to narrow down their criteria. One should know how to narrow down the list of criteria for finding the best tenant for his/her rental property in Baltimore.

The property owners or landlords should not be selective based on color, religion, race, or gender. The narrowing down criteria should be based on the “Fair Housing Act”. In fact, the best fair and equal criterion to select the best renter should be based on credit history, rental history, criminal record, employment, income, and background. This would help you to select the right occupant for your rental unit or apartment in Baltimore.

You can easily let your tenants know about the requirements set for each area by stating it on the website or printed advertisements. Or, you as an owner can also ask the tenants about these areas directly on the phone or email, whichever medium the tenants are using for inquiring.

Narrow Down Applicants with a Checklist

  • Credit score
  • Rental history
  • Criminal background
  • Employment
  • Income

Credit Score

The credit score of a tenant gives a landlord an overall summary of the financial situation of the tenant. One tenant with a low credit score doesn’t mean he is not good or is uneducated, but this will at least help you to avoid hiring a bad credit score tenant who is good is the rest of the criteria. So, it’s good to consider the credit score of an applicant. Most of the landlord tends to hire the applicant with a good credit score because they are more financially stable.

Rental History

The rental history of a tenant says a lot about him. So, the applicants must provide references to the landlord. And the references will be the determining factor of an agreement with the owner. The rental history tells about the tenant’s behavior, his financial status, whether he used to pay the rent on time or not, responsible for taking care of the property, etc.

Criminal Record

Criminal checking history varies from state to state. So, make sure you know how to properly evaluate a criminal history checking and know which circumstances are within the right of a landlord so that you can deny a tenant based on his criminal history.


If the tenant is having a stable job that means he has the source of income and will be able to pay the rent on time. To check the employment status get the salary slip from the employer or any contact number for verification.


Usually, the ideal tenant is the one who has a nice flow of income. Most landlords or property owners request that the rent of an apartment should be one-third or less of the tenant’s income.

The list of requirements helps and makes the process of selecting a tenant easier and simpler for you. And, also you can easily eliminate unnecessary applications. However, many applicants may pass the selection and screening process. And then the work becomes even tougher for you.

If even after this selection and screening process, many applicants fit the criteria then being an owner you will have to come with another selection strategy that doesn’t discriminate.

Pick the Right Tenant for Your Rental Unit

If after the screening you have found one suitable applicant for your rental apartment, Congratulations! But, if you still have multiple qualified applicants then you will have to decide.

You can use different ideas and methods to select the best renter for your rental apartment from multiple qualified tenants, but what you need to keep in mind is your act should not violate the Fair Housing Act.

First Come First Serve

This is one of the best ways to settle such type of tiebreaker situation, document it, and then apply your strategy. You can give preference to the applicant who has applied first. Most of the property owners follow this strategy to escape from such a situation and easily select the right tenant that best fits the profile of the perfect tenant.

Good credit score

You can also give preference to the applicant with the highest credit score. This will ensure the tenant will not fail to pay the rent on time.

Strength of the application

You need not worry about selecting the best tenant for your rental unit as there’s always the better tenant who ticks the box of requirements. The strength of the application could be the deciding factor for the property owners. You can check the application thoroughly and decide which renter to select based on the strength of the application. For ex- if you have two applicants that fit the profile of a perfect tenant then select them based on the credit score and income, which makes them a landlord’s perfect tenant.

While having a huge number of applicants can be draining to think, it is also a blessing for the property owners. It is not very difficult to pick the best from the good or better ones. You just have to be a bit smarter. You can use references for hiring the best tenant for your rental property in Baltimore. The references from previous landlords should be your requirement, which will give you clear identification of the tenant you will trust with your rental property.

But many owners do mistakes while screening and selecting the best tenant from multiple qualified tenants. If you want to hire the right renter for your rental apartment in Baltimore then you must avoid the common mistakes that usually landlords do while screening tenants.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Screening tenants

  • Skipping eviction’s report
  • Skipping the background check
  • Start screening too late
  • Not interviewing the tenants
  • Not considering the references

Skipping eviction’s report

It is important to check a tenant’s eviction report. It will help you to know a lot about the tenant’s behavior and also the reason for the eviction. So, you can know whether you should hire the applicant or simply reject the application.

Skipping the background check

Knowing that the tenant can pay the rent on time is not just enough for firing the perfect tenant for your rental property. There are other criteria as well that you must consider. Most landlords or property owners think that only the only important trait in a renters’ ability is to pay the rent. But, you must not skip the background check and avoid checking the tenant’s part, because this can put you in great trouble in the future. The main focus should be on criminal records during the tenant’s background check.

Start screening late

If you are interested in any renter then start screening as soon as possible. Doing it late means you will be left with the unoccupied property, and unoccupied property will kill your rental property earnings. Do not until the last minute just realize that the tenant you were interested in isn’t the one you wanted for your rental property. Also, do not wait too long to know that the tenant fits your criteria has already decided to move into another property. Don’t lose the chance of hiring the best tenant just because you didn’t start the process quickly.

Not interviewing the tenants

If you are thinking that whatever the tenants have mentioned or written on the application is true then you are mistaking. It is very easy to lie on papers but difficult when you are face to face. To know who is saying the truth you should interview every single tenant. Then you can decide which fits the list of criteria and profile of the perfect tenant.

Not considering the references

Most landlords make this mistake while hiring tenants. They think if the tenant has passed the background check and credit score then they are perfect as a renter. But you must not rely only on this, you should also ask for a maximum of three references, which must include the current employer and landlord.


If you haven’t hired rental property management in Baltimore then being the owner of the property you are responsible for each and everything to manage your property. And as a property manager, one of your main goals is to keep the property occupied. But, keeping the unit filled doesn’t mean you will hire any tenant with poor credit, dangerous criminal background, or references that don’t check out.

Don’t do these mistakes that above-mentioned and gather enough information about an applicant that will help you to make the right decision.

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