As a landlord, how can you have the best chance of getting reliable tenants?
Most of the landlords who I've worked with over the years rely on one thing - credit score. Although there are exceptions to every rule, people who have been able to maintain a good credit score tend to be dependable, consistent, and reliable.
A landlord once told me, if a person has a score of 750 or higher, they'll pay their rent a few days early, at 700, they'll be right on time, at 650, they'll pay a week late and below 650 they'll have an excuse as often as a check. Having personally experienced fluctuations to my own score, I don't agree with this broad generalization but I do agree that having an above-average score requires one to be intentional about their credit. It requires some long-term credit relationships, a history of on-time payments, certain debt ratios, etc. All good qualities for a tenant.
There is some dispute that tenants who have Section 8 or another type of housing assistance shouldn't be required to have good credit since they won't be paying the rent themselves. Although that sounds logical, there is more to being a good tenant than paying rent and again, according to most long-term landlords who I've asked, the better the credit, the more likely they are to take good care of the apartment and be conscientious about noise, neighbors, etc. Tenants with housing vouchers who also have good credit are out there and it's worth your time to find them.
The nice thing about credit score is that it is blind to factors that could violate fair housingrules. As long as you treat everyone the same with regards to credit, you should not have to worry about accusations of discrimination. Just be sure that the rules are the same for everyone.