To the tenant screening tools, I'd add one more.
If you're near a military base then see if AHRN.com is available in your area. It's free for rental property owners & managers, but you only get to list your property and survey the competition.
People with a military ID (active duty, Reserve/Guard, and retiree) can search the entire database. You'll get far fewer calls than Craigslist, but you'll probably rent the place by the third showing. We've rented to three sets of tenants this way with minimal hassle and zero problems.
A friend had a little drama when he rented his 2BR apartment to a servicemember & spouse. The servicemember deployed to Iraq and she started entertaining male houseguests. However she was paying the rent so the landlord didn't object. Then the servicemember's mother came over to have a few words with her DIL, who abruptly terminated the lease. The landlord got to keep a month's rent and turned it around in two weeks, so he's still smiling when he tells the story.
We advertise our rental property as "pet friendly", and we explain that pet damage will be taken out of the security deposit. Tenants will sneak in pets whichever way they can, so this sidesteps the whole problem. Better yet, we get grateful pet owners who know how hard it is to find a pet-friendly rental. A friend of ours was even able to skip replacing her 10-year-old carpeting because the new tenant had a dog. They've been in the place for over two years and may go for longer.
Co-author (with my daughter) of “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence.”
Author of the book written on E-R.org: "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement."
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