Well, if you are close to post, then list it on post with the housing office.
I have 8 small apartments and our own home rented. With our home, we lucked out and rented to a teacher friend. We rented below the market rate, but enough to cover our expenses. I was clear with her that if she kept the place nice and did some of the up keep on it, then the rent would stay the same. I have only had a hand full of calls in 3 years. (furnace and carpenter ants)
As for those little apartment, it simply boils down to asking a whole lot of questions about a person. I have had my share of craziness, but for the most part, I get good folks when I spend some time cultivating a relationship with them up front. I make them tell me about themselves and I follow up with previous landlords. It is harder for people to do you or your property "wrong" when you have a relationship with them. I call every few months to make sure everything is ok...an opportunity almost always presents itself. (smoke detector checks, filter changes, or other small issues) That way they know I care.
I also do a background check, which the tenant pays for. I find that the good tenants don't mind shelling out the extra money for the background check.
Verify, verify, verify - Verify everything. Employment history, rental history, credit and criminal records. Do that for every person over the age of 18 that will occupy the house. I also charge an application fee for this purpose. It is $45.00 per applicant (that is everyone over 18). Experian has a pay per plan just for Landlords for $29.95 that will give you the credit and criminal history.
Still there are no guarantees.
Call Karen Klein with Joyce Klein realtors. Karen has handled my rental home for the past 6 years. Karen does everything, handles finding renters, does background and credit checks, I have never had my house empty longer than 30 days. I don't have to take any phone calls, home issues or collect rent. I would highly recommend her, very efficient and trustworthy. I even reccommened her to my neighbors who were transferred out of the country.
Know your Tentand landlord law and be fair.
Get a good lawyer.
Don't love the place, just treat it like a business.
If you are not willing to evict your sister, then you should not be in the landlord business.
Lastly thank your lucky stars if you get a great tenant. They are truely a blessing....