Top five questions you must ask prospective tenants

By 19th May 2015Blog

It is important to have consistent qualifying standards for all tenants to avoid issues of discrimination. Asking preliminary questions to prospective tenants can help you gain insight into their behavior, letting you identify potential issues before they arise. You are entrusting them your valuable property, so it becomes crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure that your asset won’t be neglected. If tenants offer vague answers, it might be a warning sign that they might not be a suitable fit for your property.

The better the tenant is the less stress, time, and money they will cost you. But, finding the right tenant, can be difficult if you’re renting out for the first time.

To begin, here are five top questions you should ask your prospective tenants:

1) Why are you moving?
This is a legitimate question and gives you a valuable opportunity to look for any red flags. Genuine reasons such as changing jobs, or wanting a bigger space are all acceptable answers. But beware of reasons such as being evicted or involved in disputes with neighbors, or failing to get along with the landlord. These are causes for concern. A tenant’s background check or tenant’s eviction report can help you get a clear idea.

2) What is your employment status?
This question will help you determine whether the prospective tenant can afford your unit. You will want to look for a tenant who makes more than 2.5 to 3 times of your rent. However, a good monthly income alone may not help you to judge the tenant’s credit worthiness; the amount of debt they have will also impact their income and their ability to pay rent on time. A credit check can help you to be a better judge of the tenant’s overall revenue stream.

3) Are you ready to consent for a credit and background check?
A background and credit rating check will help to establish the trustworthiness and credibility of the tenant. You can get a fair idea about their overall financial condition and payment history, so you can go ahead with your decision without any apprehensions. Also, it is crucial that you get their confirmation in writing. If they decline to agree to your request, you may want to eliminate them from your list of prospective tenants.

4) Are you ready to provide references from your previous landlord or employer?
Obtaining references are a reliable method to judge your future tenant’s trustworthiness. They are the best way to find out whether the information supplied by the tenant is correct or not. If the prospective tenant hesitates or makes excuses to provide references, it is a clear sign that something is fishy, and they are trying to hide some vital information. It is prudent to obtain reports like tenant eviction report or background check report to prevent forgery.

5) Who will be living in the unit?
This question will help you determine how many people will reside in your property and the future living situation. Usually, having two people per bedroom is a fair arrangement, because with fewer people, your property will be managed in a better way, and there will be less chance of wear and tear. Additionally, there are also rules and laws that limit the number of people that can reside in a fixed area.

Conducting a detailed investigation can be a time-consuming activity, but your property is a valuable asset, and when you end up with a trustworthy tenant, your efforts are well-spent.