10 Things to Ask When Interviewing a Tenant

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As a landlord you need to have a list of set questions ready to ask during a tenant interview. This will help you decide if an individual is worth renting your property to before taking them on a tour. Ensure these questions are the same for every prospective tenant. This will keep you from getting accused of discrimination.


What’s Your Reason For Moving?

Asking this question can help you get to know a tenant better. You want to know if the individual has good reasons for moving, such as wanting bigger rooms or changing jobs. You need to be careful with tenants whose reason is that they got evicted by their previous landlord, or because of their bad behaviour.


What is Your Monthly Income?

Knowing the monthly income of a prospective tenant will help you figure out if they can afford your property. You want a tenant with a monthly income which is at least three times the monthly rent. Remember to find out if they are in any form of debt or have previously declared bankruptcy. If the individual is in debt, then it might not really matter that their monthly income is three times the monthly rent. You need to be sure they will have enough left over to be able to pay for rent after paying off their debt each month.


Will You Be Able To Make a Security Deposit and Pay The First Month’s Rent Upon Moving In?

This is where the financial stability of an individual comes into play. If the tenant can’t provide the money upfront, and requests to make payment little by little each week, this trend may well continue until they can’t afford to make the monthly rent payment. You do not want to have a tenant who already owes you money before moving in. Always ensure the payment is complete before allowing a tenant to move in.


What Date Are You Moving In?

This can tell you a lot about a tenant. If the individual wants to move in the next day, then a red flag should go up. It could indicate that they are not the responsible type. Although there are special circumstances that can justify an emergency move, such as domestic abuse or a sudden job transfer. However, on a general note, a responsible individual will start searching for an apartment at least 30 days before their move-in date.


How Many Individuals Will Reside In The Apartment?

You want to know if the number of people that intend to stay in the apartment are more than you are willing to allow. Overcrowding is a health and safety risk, and you want to avoid this.


Can You Provide References From Your Former Landlord and Current Employer?

If the prospective tenant is hesitant about providing this information, it means they have something to hide. A reference from an employer helps you verify that they can actually afford the apartment, and a reference from a previous landlord helps you confirm that they have been a good tenant. You don’t want a tenant who refuses to provide a reference. You also don’t want a tenant who provides a false reference.


Will You Give Your Permission For a Credit Check?

If the tenant refuses to give their permission for you to run a credit check, you should have the individual removed from your prospective list. A credit check helps you to confirm they are not in debt and have no history of bad credit. However, if they give their permission, this should be written and signed.


Have You Been Evicted In The Past?

It is possible for a tenant to lie in response to this question. However, this will help you know if the tenant is an honest individual or not. You can confirm the information they give you from their previous landlords. If they have suffered a past eviction, knowing the reason will help you decide if you are comfortable accepting them. You want to avoid individuals who were evicted because of property damage or excessive noise.


Do You Have Pets?

If you do not allow pets in your apartment, knowing right away if the prospective tenant has pets will save you time. You don’t want to waste time answering questions and taking the tenant on a tour only to find out later that they have pets.


Do You Have Any Questions?

It is important to answer any questions the tenant might have to avoid misunderstandings in the future. Attending to answer any question they might have now will make the application process easier.


Tenant Referencing FAQ’s

[ultimate-faqs include_category=’tenant-referencing’ ]

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