Hey - this was just an idea (and apparently a bad one) - and you guys are my sounding board. Driving by the property now and then is not the same as the neighbor who is there nearly 24x7. Finding out about things sooner rather than later is the goal. Getting a dog/smoker out 1 month into the issue is better than 6 months later, IMO, and my announced visit gives then plenty of time to conceal things. So if I don't pay them but they squeal about something they see and I take action does that sit better with everyone?
I think screening is the key along with a hefty deposit. The tenant needs to have somethng to lose as well. Its not so much you landLORDING over them but putting yourself on equal footing.
If you can require a 700 credit score then that is leveling the playing field. If your property or neighborhood is not such this works then up that deposit if possible given your state laws. Consider 1st and last months rent as a good thing to balance as well.
If you do these things then you don't have to be as worried. (Don't forget going into the property at a minimum of twice a year to see what you might see) Messy, sloppy and unorganized, in my opinion, is not what your looking for. Fire hazards, unauthorized tenants and pets and damaged or broken items are the things you want to concern yourself about. If it is just dirty not a hazard then really you need to just worry about cleaning it up on their dime when they move. Also when they go to move, if it is messy ect. then write them a nice letter using the info on this site to warn them that if they want to save there SD they will leave it in the same condition you gave it. You did take pictures and or video right?