Questions to Ask Potential Tenants
Posted on August 4, 2022 by Rental Property in Renter's Information

Questions to Ask Potential Tenants

For landlords who are renting, compiling a list of useful questions to ask potential tenants is a great way to properly screen candidates and ensure your property is being leased to responsible individuals. Being a landlord doesn’t come without risks and challenges, and pleasing everyone is a difficult task to achieve. For this reason, communication is key in a landlord-tenant relationship, and these questions are meant to help you get a better understanding of who you’re providing a lease to before they sign. Here are some insights into what tenants want when renting, as well as ways you can open this much needed communication very early in the renting process.

Tenant Screening Checklist

A tenant screening checklist is an easy and reliable way to prepare yourself with various questions to ask potential tenants. These checklists allow you to conveniently screen tenants to ensure that the person signing a lease is reliable, trustworthy, and appropriate for the property. Some questions to compile in a tenant screening checklist include:

  • Have you ever been evicted?

    – Landlords should never be afraid to ask this question, as it gives a clear understanding into the kind of tenant you are dealing with right from the get-go. Since past evictions are generally strong indicators for future evictions, asking your tenant about previous history of this nature can give them a chance to explain themselves, thus immediately opening the floor to communication. 

  • What is your monthly income?

    – Property owners can find extra assurance in their candidate by getting an understanding of their monthly income. This proves especially worthwhile when 30.9% of renters have experienced troubles paying their rent due to the pandemic. The industry standard states that a tenant’s monthly income should be three times that of their rent. Ask for multiple pay stubs to ensure that their income is consistent, legitimate, and up to par.

  • Do you have pets?

    – This is a very easy question that can save both landlord and renter time and energy early in the discussion. If you don’t allow pets on your properties, this immediately dictates whether or not they’re fit to sign a lease. If you do allow pets, this gives you a chance to find out more about the animal, and helps you determine if the pet fits your criteria for pet allowance. 

  • Do you have potential roommates? –

    A tenant screening checklist cannot be complete without knowing who exactly is going to sign your lease. Thus, it’s important for every resident of your property to fill out their own application, and to screen each individual in the case of roommates. This way, you can know if both tenants can reliably pay rent, and relay to them whether or not subletting is allowed.

  • What do you expect from your landlord?

    – This question gives potential tenants the opportunity to give you their expectations so you can more easily meet them. It can solve issues like payment options (online, in-person, money apps, etc.), as well as clarify further matters like the ability to make holes in walls for hanging, or utilizing an outdoor space. Landlords should remember that tenants are also customers, and making them happy makes everyone happy at the end of the day.

What Do Tenants Look for in a Rental Property?

Another crucial aspect of finding a reliable tenant is being aware of what they will expect from your property. Not only does this allow you to better market your property if you know the criteria it meets, but you’ll also be able to make necessary changes to services, maintenance, and other facets to meet expectations way ahead of time. Here are some ideas for what tenants want when signing a lease:

  • Move-In Ready Condition of Property – Potential tenants will understandably want the state of your property to be ready to move in. This means that the rental is clean, well taken care of, and prepared for move-in day. If the property is not up to par when the tenant is ready to move in, this can be a red flag going forward.
  • Security – Whether it’s a Ring doorbell, or even cameras in the hallways or at the front door, tenants can feel significantly safer knowing their place is secure. 
  • Quick Response Times – Tenants will find value in being able to readily get in touch with their landlord if issues arise. Nowadays, tenants enjoy the ability to call or text their landlord, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to provide your number. This goes for maintenance too. If an appliance or feature of the property breaks, having a quick response time saves tenants unnecessary hassle.

Do you have questions about renting a home, securing a tenant, or finding a property management company? Contact SLT Properties today to learn more about our property management services for landlords and tenants, as well as our rental properties available in the Piedmont triad area.