One of the most frustrating situations Houston landlords experience is getting stuck with an unreliable and, dare we say, problematic tenant. 


Whether you’re a new landlord or have spent a few years struggling to find good tenants, there may be some surprising reasons why.

The Benefits of Good Tenants in Houston 


When you consistently get good tenants for your Houston rental property, you can maximize your ROI, make fewer repairs, and feel secure about the condition of your property. 


Plus, good tenants tend to always follow the lease, pay rent on time, and make earning income from Houston rental properties as easy as you had hoped.  

A rental property owner enjoys earning money from his rental property in Houston.

Why You Have Trouble Finding Quality Tenants 


To help you out in your search for high-quality tenants for rental properties in Houston, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common reasons landlords get stuck with bad tenants, including some that may surprise you.

 1. You Don’t Have a Thorough Tenant Screening Process


One of the most effective ways to find Houston tenants that will be good for business is to have a tenant screening process. However, to ensure you find good tenants in Houston, your screening process must be thorough.


A complete and comprehensive tenant screening process on a prospective tenant means running credit reports, a background check, criminal history, income verification, and reaching out to their references and previous landlords.


Then, you really need to analyze your findings and get an understanding of the type of tenant the potential renter might be. 


Don’t be a landlord who simply emails a potential tenant some questions about themselves and call it a day. Get hard evidence and do your due diligence to ensure this is someone you trust and want to live in your rental property.

2. You Don’t Optimally Market the Rental Property Listing

Part of finding a good tenant in Houston is marketing your listing to the right people. If you’re only using Facebook or Craigslist to find tenants, you are more likely to get stuck with a problematic tenant.


However, if you create a high-profile rental property listing with bright and high-quality photos and a detailed and enticing description, you’re more likely to find trustworthy tenants willing to pay top dollar.


Putting a well-thought-out advertisement on high-traffic rental listing websites is also key to optimizing your rental property’s marketing. Making your property stand out among other similarly priced Houston rental properties can increase your chances of finding a good tenant.

3. You Don’t Ask for Tenant References

Part of the tenant screening process is asking for references.


Request that potential tenants provide contact information (try to get a business number and not a personal cell phone) for their employers and past landlords. These are two important references you need to speak to in order to understand the applicant’s financial situation, level of responsibility, and character.


Talking to an employer can give you a better sense of where the applicant stands at work. Verify their salary and how long they have worked for the company—the more stable, the better.


Speaking with a previous landlord provides great insight into how the applicant behaves as a tenant. If the landlord would rent to them again, it’s a great sign they’re a good tenant.

4. You Look at All Debt the Same

Even if you conduct a credit check and like how it looks, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically getting a good Houston tenant. While they may have a good credit score above your minimum threshold, you should look deeper into their debt.


When you look at all debt the same, you could find yourself with a financially irresponsible tenant. For example, if an applicant has $50,000 in student loan debt, it’s safer to rent to them than someone who has $25,000 in credit card debt.

5. You Only Screen One Tenant

Finding a good tenant in Houston can be time-consuming and stressful if your rental property sits vacant for more than a month. However tempting it is to rent to the first person who passes your screening requirements, it’s a good idea to screen multiple interested parties before making a decision.


While screening multiple people, and keeping fair housing laws in mind, you will find that one person may be a better choice than the other. Having a variety of potential tenants can help you protect your rental property and your investment.

6. You Ignore Important Red Flags

During the tenant screening process, there may be subtle, yet important red flags that you should keep an eye out for. These red flags hint that the tenant may not be your best choice.


The first red flag to look for is if the tenant follows directions. They can be difficult to work with if they don’t send all of the documents or information you requested or delay part of the screening process.


Catching your applicant in a lie is also a red flag. If they lie about their income, having a stable job, or their previous addresses, it’s a definite sign not to move forward with their application.


Lastly, if your potential tenant is short-tempered or rude to you, or you generally don’t enjoy working with them, it could be a sign that they will be problematic.


When screening tenants, look at more than just their financial statements and eviction history. Observe how they behave during the process; it can tell a lot about a person.

7. You Aren’t Working with a Professional Property Management Company

Image of downtown Houston, TX

If you aren’t working with a property management company in Houston, like Residential Leasing & Management, then you’re more likely to get stuck with a bad tenant.


Our professional property managers use innovative and effective marketing tactics to put your rental property in front of high-quality and reliable prospective tenants.


As an experienced Houston property manager, before we allow a potential tenant to sign a lease agreement and live in your property, they go through a detailed and thorough tenant screening process, including following up with references and talking to previous landlords. We’re dedicated to finding the perfect tenant for your Houston rental property.

Looking to find the best tenants for your Houston rental property?

It doesn’t end there, though. Residential Leasing & Management also manages tenant relations. If they have a question or maintenance request, we are their first (and only) point of contact.


When you work with Residential Leasing & Management, you can rest assured you’re getting the best tenants in Houston to respectfully live in your rental property, be a good neighbor, and pay rent on time.


If you enjoyed learning about finding good quality tenants in this article, you might want to check out  7 Metrics Rental Property Investors Should Know: How to Measure Success next.