Boomerater™ Report: Check Credit of Potential Tenants

Advice on choosing a potential tenant, and discounts to save you money.

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The Boomerater™ Report is our weekly collaboration with Boomerater. Boomerater is an online resource that help baby boomers make informed life decisions, covering topics such as finding financial advisors and senior housing facilities. In each report, we feature a selection of helpful tips from Boomerater’s collection of financial, consumer and lifestyle content.

We also post a question of the week for which we are looking to hear your advice and first-hand perspectives. This week, we explore the topic of having a boss who is a lot younger than you. Go to Boomerater.com to share your thoughts, and in the next report, we will feature some of the best responses.

Last week, we asked readers about whether they thought a credit check was necessary for a potential tenant. Here are a few of the replies:

A. Try three credit checks. You've got to use every resource available. We rented out my folks' empty home in April and were so happy to get a nice young family ready to move in immediately. We saw the wife's W-2 [tax form] and were satisfied. Bad idea! They stopped paying rent, the husband is under indictment for fraud, frozen assets, and we can't get them out. Our instincts were off, we were fooled by "nice" personalities, and were anxious to get the rent money to help pay for Mom's care. Had we simply Googled his name, we would have seen the federal suit against him. Please learn from our mistake. Do your due diligence or run the risk.

A. My advice is to seek a reputable realtor to find you a tenant. Make the agent part of the process so if there is a problem, you can get them involved with the solution. Insist on a thorough credit check and job verification. If you are thorough on the vetting process, you will not have problems later.

And for those of you looking for discounts in these tough economic times, here are a few sites a reader suggested:

Q. I'm looking for websites that identify stores and restaurants that offer discounts to boomers in their late 50s.

A. There are lots of sites that can link you to senior discount sites. One of the simplest is About.com’s “Frugal Living” site. It has an alphabetical listing of national companies that offer senior discounts. Another one I just discovered is SeniorDiscounts.com. They have a free weekly newsletter with member-submitted discounts. I was surprised by some of the companies that offer discounts to the 55+ crowd. They also have a premium service that lets you search for discounters in your area.

If there are questions on your mind that you would like answered by other people who have faced similar situations, go to Boomerater.com and submit your question… say that The Best Life sent you!