When a room becomes vacant, I text all my existing tenants to see if they have a friend looking for a room. I love a good recommendation as nice, honest, clean living people tend to attract similar sorts. Otherwise, the room is advertised in the local paper.
When someone answers the ad I interview them over teh phone to check they can answer my questions directly and, if I’m happy, will agree to meet them. As my children are at school, I can only show people around 9am-3pm or in the evening otherwise the mere prospect of meeting a new tenant throws my kids into grump mode and I come across as unprofessional as I berate them through tight lipped threats to behave.
Once I’ve carried out a Spanish Inquisition on the hapless soul and they show a genuine interest in the room (normally consists of “Yeah, it’s fine”), they have to complete a Tenant Particulars Form. This allows me to reference check them with their employer, past landlord and next of kin. If the information is correct and none of the referees think the tenant is a previous or potential axe murderer then I will offer the room.
However, if there is even SLIGHTEST gut instict that this person isn’t all he or she seems – even if you can’t put a finger on it, have a stock of suitable fibs lined up to let them down. (I blame my husband/business partner for already letting out the room without telling me!)