10 Screening Questions: Find the Right Tenant
1.) Why Are You Moving?
This is always a great conversation starter, but it’s also an essential question and can tell a lot about your future tenant. For example, if a prospective tenant says, “I’m moving because my landlord and I didn’t get along,” that’s not promising. Look for answers such as, “We needed more space,” or “I got a new job, so I’m moving closer to work.”
2.) Do You Have References from an Employer and a Former Landlord?
References are a great way to make sure the tenant is able to pay rent and won’t give you any grief about getting rent in on time. Receiving a reference from a former landlord allows you to have a better chance of getting an honest assessment of the tenant’s dependability.
3.) Will You Agree to a Background/Credit Check?
If any tenant is a little nervous about you asking for a background check, move on immediately. You have to do a background/credit check to make sure your tenant is going to be reliable and not cause any problems.
4.) What’s Your Monthly Income?
Your definition of affordable and your tenant’s definition of affordable could be polar opposite. Instead of relying on them, do the math yourself. According to industry standards, a tenant should have a monthly income that’s approximately two-and-a-half to three times the cost of the rent.
5.) Who Will Live Here?
If you’re renting out a two-bedroom apartment you want to be aware of have many occupants will be residing in the home. If there are 12 frat boys moving in you might want to select another tenant.
6.) Have You Ever Been Evicted?
If they answer this question with a yes, you might want to look for another tenant. There could be certain circumstances that caused the situation, but most likely not the best contender.
7.) Do You Have Pets?
If you have a no-pets policy, make that clear. If you do allow pets with a deposit, make sure every detail is in writing. Remember however, that you are not allowed to exclude service dogs.
8.) When Are You Moving?
Make sure your time frame works with their time frame, and that your tenants don’t sign on a place with the intention of moving in 6 months from now.
**Disclosure: Blog post are the opinion of the author and represent no guarantees nor do they necessarily represent the opinion of TrueRent and/or its affiliates.