Questions you should ask a potential renter

Finding a good tenant can be one of the most difficult tasks that you may encounter as a landlord. How do you go about screening potential renters in the first place? At Gavish Property Management, we’ve put together a quick guide to know which questions you should as a potential renter.

You don’t just want any “Joe Shmoe” living in your home now, do you? Just because you are struggling to find a renter, does not mean you jump at the first person who applies. Stay patient and you will find the best tenant to occupy your space. You want to know how to find the right tenant. This tenant will pay on time, has a steady employment history, a clean eviction report, positive reference checks, a monthly income that is three times the rent rate, and a good credit score.

Before you say yes to a potential renter, there are a few questions you should ask.

  • What date would you like to move in? The answer to this question immediately shares whether this potential tenant is looking for something immediately or is taking their time. If you are looking for something quick and they need an extra month or two, they might not be the right fit.
  • How many people will be living in the unit? Staying within the legal limits is your best bet. If an applicant is stating that there will be more tenants than bedrooms, you might have a problem. Six people in a two-bedroom apartment might be difficult.
  • What is your monthly income? Your ideal tenant has three times the rent rate. This is a great question to ask to ensure that the tenant has enough money to pay the rent at the beginning of every month.
  • Have you ever broken a rental agreement? There are many reasons why rental agreements are broken – rude neighbors, noisy construction, harassment, domestic violence, etc. While some cases may be understandable, ask this question with intent and look out for any red flags.
  • Why are you planning to move? This question is reasonable as it provides you with the reasoning behind why they are deicing between this particular home. Some common answers include: an easier commute, rent was getting too expensive, outgrown space, closer to family, a fresh start, etc.
  • Have you ever been evicted? Keep your ears wide open when listening to this answer. If the answer is yes, follow it up with a why. You can easily attain this information without asking your applicant face to face, but this allows the person to give you an explanation. If what they say is true, “past evictions are future predictions,” it might be time to move on to other applicants.