Tenant Interview Questions

Published: 30th September 2010
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Personal interviews with prospective tenants is said to be the most important step when screening tenants. You can check their credit, verify employment, verify deposit accounts, but how will you be able to get to know them and ask them crucial questions that will enable you to make the best decision if you do not talk to them?

Set a time where you can meet the prospective tenants face to face and sit down to get to know them. It is a very good idea to have already completed a credit check, called their references, and verified employment and income. These things will bring up questions that you will want to get answers for when you meet with them in person. If it is impossible to get an interview in person , make sure you at least spend a good amount of time on a phone interview with them.

Now that you have a scheduled interview with them, what will you ask them? The number one rule to interviewing someone is to not be afraid to ask them anything. If something is troubling you, make sure you get a very clear answer from them. Here are a few more questions you will probably want to ask:

1. Verify their current employment. Make sure it is permanent and not temporary. How long have they worked with the company?

2. Ask them why they were interested in your property. This will actually help you understand selling points and help you better market the property in the future on top of understanding why they chose it.

3. How many children and pets do they have? Will there be anyone other than immediate family that will be occupying or living in the dwelling?

4. If they are leasing the space for work (office, retail, warehouse, etc), what line of business are they in and what will they be using the commercial space for? This will help you gauge possible wear and tear.

5. Ask very pointed questions about any negative item that shows up on their credit report. You will want to understand these things with as much detail as you can get. Pay attention to late payments, derogatory accounts, bankruptcies, etc. Do not be afraid to ask them about it.

6. How long do they plan to stay (important if you are signing a month to month rental)?

Be creative and really get to know these prospective tenants. It will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches by choosing a great tenant!

Stirling Gardner consults for EZ Landlord Forms - your best online resource for a state specific free rental applications, free landlord forms, including a free rent receipt.

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