As a rental property owner, you want the best tenant to stay in your rental. With this, you can ensure that your property will be in good hands. Stress and headache in managing a rental property may also be reduced. And you want all this to happen in your very own investments. A property management company can professionally help you with that. It is because they have been in the industry for quite some time now. And if you want to manage your rental properties on your own, you still need them to guide you. This is to ensure the success of your investments. You have to keep in mind that managing a rental property is not easy. It requires experience and expertise to succeed.
In choosing the best tenant, you must consider setting the right criteria. You must also have a detailed application and do a background check on each of the applicants. But be mindful to follow and know all about the Federal Fair Housing Act. And from there, you may start formulating questions to get to know them more. And here are some of the questions to guide you in screening potential tenants.
Q 1: “How long will you live here?”
It is important to know how long potential tenants will stay in your place. This is because turnover and vacancy can cost you a lot of money. And we know that you don’t want it to happen. That is why knowing the plans of your potential tenants are important to avoid future problems.
Q 2: “What pets do you have and how many?”
It doesn’t matter if you allow pets or not in your rental. What matters in this question is that you are giving your tenants a chance, to be honest, to say what kind of pets they have if there’s any. Asking “do you have any pets” will increase the chance that they will lie because the question sounds negative to them and that they may be disqualified. This is the kind of trick some property managers use to find the right tenants.
Q 3: “How many evictions have been filed upon you?”
This question will allow your tenant to think rather than saying a direct no to the question “have you ever been evicted”. You have to keep in mind that yes or no answers are much easier to falsify. Most property managers know exactly what approach to use in screening the tenants. And you must learn how to do it if you want to effectively manage your property on your own.
Q 4: “How many vehicles do you own?”
This question is also very important because you will then know how many vehicles potential tenants plan to bring with them. It will also be a good idea if you set a limit to the number of vehicles they can bring in to the property to avoid overcrowding.
Q 5: “When would you like to move in?”
Keep in mind that you want a responsible tenant in your property. So if they answer this question “ASAP” or something like that, you must be very careful. This can only mean a few things and some of it is that they may have been evicted. It may also mean that their current landlord had asked them to leave. There are a lot of reasons why they want to move right away. And it is your job to know why.
Aside from moving in immediately, you must also be aware if they want to move in the distant future. Holding your rental for months is not good for you financially. So the best answer is between 1-4 weeks out. Everything else after that is all up to you.
Q 6: “For what reasons could you not pay rent on time?”
In asking this question, your main goal is to know if your tenant is capable of paying the rent on time. And if they state any reason other than saying nothing then you should keep records on that. Yes, there may be circumstances that a person will not be able to pay the rent but there is also someone who can pay it on time. This is why you screen tenants to find someone who can help you succeed in your investment.
Q 7: “Why should we choose you for tenancy?”
Like most interviews, this is one crucial question to answer. This question will give potential tenants the opportunity to tell you why and what makes them the best choice. You should anticipate that you will hear good answers to this. But you have to keep in mind always the kind of character that you are looking for in a tenant. Choosing the best tenant will save you from future problems. And some problems may even cause
Know What You Want from a Tenant
These are some of the questions that you can ask during tenant screening. But you can actually add some if you want to know them more. You must also know what kind of tenant you are looking for. A property management company will guide you with all the work. Aside from them being the expert, you can greatly benefit from hiring a property management company.