Screening tenants: 3 important questions to ask

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2022 | Real Estate Transactions | 0 comments

As a landlord, you understand the importance of picking the right tenant. Poor tenants may cause property damage, conflict and stress and cost you money and time.

For example, two married landlords suffered losses when their departing renters absconded with appliances, also leaving their mark behind on the building in the form of damage. Background checks and asking for reference letters may help you avoid ending up with tenants like these. When you perform interviews, a vital component of the screening process, it is important to ask discerning questions.

1. Do they have pets?

You want to make your pet policy clear upfront. This helps eliminate people that do not match your criteria immediately before you waste both your prospective tenant’s time and yours. Be sure to include your pet rules in detail in your lease in case a renter tries to sneakily violate them.

2. Why did they leave their previous accommodations?

A background report may reveal eviction history. However, not all red flags are readily available. Asking the potential renter directly about what happened may offer more information. You do not want a tenant who constantly starts problems with his or her landlords or others or who consistently turns his or her home into a mess.

3. How many people do they anticipate occupying the rented property?

You write the lease for a specific number of people. You set the limit on the number of people who live on your property. You need to know ahead of time if the tenant intends to have others living with him or her.

Interviews need to be thorough. They may not reveal all of a person’s character, but they may give you an idea of it.