Wilson Property Management

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Finding the Perfect Tenants for your Raleigh Rental

We’ve all heard a horror story or two about bad tenants. Some of the biggest worries that run through a landlord’s mind are how to ensure that a possible tenant will not only respect the property but also keep an open line of communication. How does a landlord know if a tenant will be trustworthy to live in their space? How long is too long to have your property vacant? In this article, Wilson Property Management will answer those questions and cover other details about finding and keeping great tenants for your Raleigh rental. 

What is a Good Tenant?

A quality tenant is someone who will pay on time with a steady income, has positive references, and is polite and respectful towards you, your property, and the neighbors. Most of these factors can be discovered through various types of tests and checks that property owners can run before offering a lease. For the few variables that are more personality-based, landlords should always trust their gut without disobeying Tenant Discrimination Laws. When speaking with the applicant, did they communicate well, provide ample amounts of information, and were they easy to work with or did they not respond for days at a time and give attitude or disrespect when asked for information? At the end of the day, the Raleigh rental property is your investment and if you have a gut feeling about someone, we suggest following your instinct. 

Comprehensive Tenant Screenings


  • Criminal Background Checks. While this may feel like an invasion of privacy, criminal information is a public record, and can definitely impact an onion on who you may want living in your home. Ask for the tenant’s name and date of birth through a valid ID (driver’s license, military ID, passport, etc.) Offenses such as speeding tickets may not mean as much to a landlord that a drug or violent crime conviction would because these charges could possibly put others in danger. 
  • Verify Income and Perform a Credit Check. Ideally, a tenant should have a monthly income that equals roughly three times the monthly rent. To ensure an applicant has this, require a copy of a recent pay stub. Use the information from the pay stub to call their employer and confirm their employment, length of employment, attendance record, and monthly earnings. Performing a credit check is important to uncover if they have a history of paying their bills on time or not. All of this will help you understand if the applicant is stable. Do they tend to stick around for long periods, keep up with their responsibilities, and are trustworthy, or the latter. 
  • Tenants Previous Rental History. Landlords or Raleigh property management companies such as Wilson Property Management can either run a scan on eviction history or ask the tenant for a list of at least two previous landlords’ contact information. Speaking with the previous landlords will give you probably the best insight out of all. Questions you should ask are: 


    • Did they pay rent on time?
    • What was the reason for the move or eviction?
    • Did the tenant give 30 days’ notice prior to moving?
    • How was the property upkeep? 
    • Did they cause any damage to the apartment?

Keep in mind that some applicants may be first time renters, students, or freshly post-grads, which means they may not have much of this information listed about them. In this case, require a parent or guardian’s signature or a co-signer on the lease. 


  • A Quick Google Search. This is more to see the personality and social interactions of your possible tenant. Especially in today’s time, social platforms can showcase an ample amount of information about someone that they might not uncover when first meeting them. Search through pictures to see if any show how a home, bedroom, or bathroom is kept, posts about house parties, or any other relevant information. 


After you have found your grade A tenant, maintaining a mutually respectful and communicative dynamic will ensure the longest possible inhabitants for your Raleigh rental property. Open and friendly conversations about rent, maintenance, and other guidelines allow the tenant to understand what is expected of them and what they can expect from you. A lease agreement can outline all of your policies and can help prevent confusion or miscommunication down the road. Any rental property is subject to an inadequate situation, which is why you can trust Wilson Property Management of Raleigh, NC to manage your Raleigh rental investment for you! 

Wilson Property Management

Established in 1989, Wilson Property Management is a full-service rental property management Raleigh NC company offering both homeowner association and rental management. Wilson Property Management currently manages 16 associations, approximately 1000 individual rental units, and currently has four on-site offices. Contact us today to learn more about Wilson Property Management and the services we offer in the Triangle such as managing your HOA