In our experience in renting properties in the Phoenix market, we have found that sticking to the basics is paramount. Let's high five it for you.
1. Communicate the properties features or drawbacks to eliminate the tire kickers and lookie loos.
2. Rental history - Look for verification from a property management company versus an individual owner who may really be related to the applicant or may need the applicant to vacate so therefore does not disclose all the important details. Also, look for no previous evictions and no late payments beyond a few days.
3. Income - prospects need to have verifiable income that equals 2.5 to 3 times the monthly rent and it must be from a stable, consistent and reliable source. For example, hand written pay stubs are not a good idea to accept for income verification.
4. Credit - If prospects don't have a third part management company then they must have current credit they are paying on such as car payments and credit cards.
5. Background - no felonies or criminal records on background.
If a prospective tenant has issues with you asking questions up front regarding any of the High 5 areas than you probably want to move onto the next!