Chicago Real Estate Lawyers

Landlords can avoid many problems with careful tenant screening

Dealing with tenants is not always the frustration some in Illinois may think. Many times, landlords and tenants get along fine and may even develop friendships. It is likely that the landlords fortunate enough to have such relationships paid careful attention to their vetting process when opening a unit for rent. Relying on a good or bad vibe does not always translate to a positive rental experience.

A landlord, building owner or property manager has every right to carefully screen those who are under consideration for renting. Failing to do so can result in costly mistakes when tenants are delinquent with rent, damage the unit or place other tenants at risk. One way to gain useful information about potential tenants is to contact past landlords for details about any difficulties they may have had with the applicants.

Landlords may also wish to do criminal background checks to see if the applicants have committed offenses the landlord may not be able to overlook for the safety of the other tenants. Along with background checks, employment and credit checks can provide useful information about the applicant’s ability to pay on time. A tenant who is consistently delinquent with rent is an expense most landlords cannot afford.

With experience, many landlords develop a sense about people, and they may advise new landlords in Illinois that it is easier to carefully screen a tenant than it is to evict a problem. However, even if a landlord lacks the ability to recognize when an applicant will be trouble, property owners and managers have recourse to assistance in every area of landlord law. Seeking advice from an attorney about contracts or evictions may protect landlords from many potential problems.

Source:, “5 Tenant Red Flags Landlords Should Look Out For“, Aug. 3, 2017