36% of the nation's 122.8 million households are renters. Each of these renters must first face a landlord who has to decide if they want to rent to them.
As a property owner or landlord, you know the most important thing is finding a tenant who will be a quality renter, one who will follow and respect your lease and pay their rent on time.
One way to ensure finding the best tenants is to have a quality tenant screening process. What questions should you ask as part of your tenant screening?
Read on to learn about the questions you should ask as part of your tenant screening process.
When Do You Need to Move In?
As a rental agent, one of the most important things you learn from a potential tenant is when they want a particular property. You don't want to have a property sitting empty.
If a potential tenant is interested in a property, you want them to be ready to move in when it's open for a new tenant.
If a tenant comes in, it's smart to have a list of options they might rent if the property they want is ready when they need it.
Will You Agree to a Background and Credit Check?
Landlords should always be prepared to ask a potential client to be willing to have a background check and a credit check before they agree to rent to them.
The background check will tell you if the potential renter has a criminal background. You have an obligation to keep your properties safe. While legally, you can't ban anyone with a criminal background; you want to know if the person is a right fit.
You also need a credit check. This helps you to know if the person pays their bills on time, including rent.
Can You Provide References from Previous Landlords?
It makes sense to ask for references from previous landlords and go through the steps to check in with the previous landlord.
If a tenant is unwilling to provide a reference, it's a red flag you shouldn't ignore. You want to know if the tenant is a good tenant willing to abide by the lease and pay their rent on time.
Can You Provide Employment Verification?
As a landlord, you want to know if the prospective tenant will provide employment verification.
This is important because it will help you know if the prospective tenant can afford the rent.
It also makes sense to look at the prospective tenants' work history. You want to know they are gainfully employed and will continue to be so they can afford the monthly rent payment.
Can You Pay the Required Deposit and Rent?
Most lease agreements require a security deposit, often equal to the first and last month's rent.
You must clarify your lease requirements and ensure the prospective tenant can pay for it.
Effective Tenant Screening Using These Questions
Tenant screening is important to protect your interests as a landlord and property owner. Use these questions to get the information you need to protect your property.
If you want help with the screening process or are looking for help managing your property, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.