Thinking of purchasing a couple of units to rent out to folks. I seem to have found some that are that middle ground of not a slumlord property but affordable enough I shouldn't have trouble filling them. I have a couple deal breakers that since this isnt Craigslist I will divulge here, where I can't be legally implicated for "discrimination". I figure to keep the property in the best condition, I'm gonna try like hell to rent to people without kids. No college students/early 20somethings. No dogs. Now where I am asking for help to minimize my headaches, how do y'all that own rental units vet your applicants? I used to work a position at a small company years ago that could loosely be classified as HR. As such hiring/interviews fell to me. I was/still am pretty sharp at judging character, and using things like my states online court search database to weed out the "undesirables". I can find things such as criminal record, driving record, and most importantly for my purposes, garnish orders/small claims filed by banks, CC companies, etc. What other things can I do to vet these folks carefully? I realize that anyone who isn't in their 20's and is renting probably has a few speed bumps in their credit history and that is to be expected. I just don't want a habitual debt skipper signing my leases. Also folks with a lengthy criminal history I'm gonna try and stay away from. I will require my own rental application (free of charge, charging folks for that is some real BS), that will include employment verification in the form of a reference call to a superior, reference of past landlord/management office, etc to get a handle on their job security/attitude/rental history. Also, for you landlords out there, do you have legal counsel on hand? I've seen my share of evictions go really pear shaped and if you don't do everything by the letter, sometimes the dirtbags have more rights on paper than the good guys. I realize eviction notices and procedures run through the sherriff's office should it need to be done forcibly. But as far as people wanting to fight on deposit returns or lack thereof, how often does this get hairy? I can't imagine most renters have the finances or the legal might to fight you much, but who knows... Lastly, personal safety. It made the papers here a couple years ago a landlord got shot by some disgruntled former tenants. No reason to let these folks know where I live but I'd be lying if I said in the back of my mind the thought wasn't there of me getting bopped over the head some night by a guy whos deposit I kept and somehow stalked me. Some people no doubt say renting out property isn't worth the headache but I like to think myself a good enough judge of character I hope to minimize that aspect. Also I like to stay busy and tinker so I dont mind the occasional call to go and fix stuff. Said properties in question shouldn't require much in that way anyhow. Any and all advice, experiences, horror stories, etc appreciated guys.