Others find they need to rent out the home of an elderly parent who has moved into a care facility. More than 3 million owner-occupied homes were converted to rental properties between 2007 and 2011, according to a 2013 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Heres some advice for those taking on this challenging new role: FINDING THE RIGHT TENANT A credit check and legal background check can help you find reliable, honest tenants, says real-estate agent Gail Carpenter of Northwood Realty in Pittsburgh. Sometimes a credit check alone will rule out an applicant, she says. Personal references can be useful if the applicant is local and you have mutual acquaintances.