In the down economy, many homeowners who haven’t been able to find buyers are taking on renters. The result is the advent of the “accidental landlord,” which the New York Times describes as a person who has little or no background in tenant management but is taking on residents to make ends meet. To help these novice property managers the Times compiled a list of top tips. One of the most crucial exercises is proper tenant screening, according to industry experts, who said that proper credit and background checks are of the utmost importance. Educating oneself on up-to-date tenant laws and finding a trustworthy building contractor were also named in the landlord to-do list.