Ask Your Potential Renters These Ten Questions Prior to an Agreement

  • 3 years ago
Navigating the Long-Term Rental Market: Tips for Finding Your Ideal Property

Not all renters take as much care of the property as you would expect. If you’re a homeowner renting out your property this can be a terrifying thought.

From water damage to renters not having the correct income. There are plenty of reasons why your potential tenants may be the wrong ones to rent your home. This is why most residential property management specialists will tell you that vetting your potential renters is vital.

To prevent this from happening to you, here is a list of questions you should ask potential tenants.

  1. Have You Been Convicted of a Crime?

It is important to know who is living in the home you are renting. While not everyone is accountable for mistakes from the past, it is a great indicator of your tenant.

If the renter you’re speaking with has been convicted of the following crimes, they are red flags:

  • Arson
  • Breaking and entering
  • Distribution of a controlled substance
  • Drunk driving

These crimes show potential harm that could come to your rental.

  1. Have You Ever Been Evicted? 

It is important to know a potential tenant’s history. Finding out if they’ve ever been evicted from a home is important. Their history of renting will give you an idea of how they will treat your home.

Of course, if they have, it doesn’t mean they are not the right fit. They could have had an issue in the past where they’d fallen on their luck.

Knowing the circumstances around a past eviction can help you understand them.

Still, if their eviction was due to damaging property, it could prevent your rental from damage by staying clear.

  1. Size of the Household 

As the owner of the home or apartment, you are entitled to know who will be living in your house. Ask potential tenants who will be living in the home.

This will give you an idea of what to expect as they borrow your house. Finding out if there are children or spouses, even pets and animals can be considered part of the home.

In some places, there are even restrictions on how many individuals are allowed to live in a home. Knowing who is in the residence will assure that you adhere to those guidelines.

  1. Will There Be Pets Present?

Pets are a matter that should always be discussed before a tenant signing a lease. If animals are not allowed, it is something that needs to be made clear upfront.

With many homes consisting of people and animals, it is important to know if there are animal members. Both parties can agree on pet deposits and fees.

Many landlords charge added fees for pets. This is to assure that those pets will not damage the property.

  1. Are There Smokers Moving In?

Another potential risk of damaging an apartment besides animals is smoke. While it was common for renters to have smokers living in their home years ago, the times have changed.

As the landlord, you are in your right to set no-smoking guidelines inside of the home for your renters. This will prevent the risk of not only a catastrophe, but also smoking damage to the residence.

The clean-up of smoke residue can lead to property damage. Asking the tenants if they smoke is both common and acceptable.

  1. What is their Monthly Income?

Their monthly rent payments are going to be important to you. Renters should not be spending more than 30% of their take-home monthly income on rent. Therefore, finding out what their salary is will help you make an educated decision.

Their sources of income should be known for you to decide if they are your tenants or not. You don’t necessarily need to know what their jobs are, but their general monthly income is something you must know.

It is in not only your best interest, but theirs as well.

  1. Are They Content with Prior Landlords?

During the vetting process, you may require reference checks. This will allow you to speak with those who have previously rented to your prospective tenants.

Understand who they are as people and finding out how they treated their last place is important. It allows you to make sure they are the type of people you want to rent to.

Be sure that when you contact prior landlords you ask the important questions. Find out if they were acceptable renters, if there are any red flags, and if they paid their rent accordingly.

  1. Are Lease Agreements Always Upheld?

When renting you look for someone reliable. Most landlords are looking for a commitment of time. They are not looking to find someone who’s going to stay a few months and then leave.

Finding out what your potential renters are looking for should be a priority. If you’re implementing a long lease, verify that they intend to stay in your home.

Asking if they have ever terminated a lease agreement will give you an indication. Be sure they plan on staying for the full amount of time they are signing their lease for.

  1. Possible Rental Payment Disruptions 

While 30% of an income is the expected rate, other bills do come up. When you are prescreening renters, find out if they have the means to pay in the event of an emergency.

From student loans to emergency medical bills, there are plenty of hindrances. These problems could mean that they are unable to pay you on time.

Find out before offering them the property if they are certain they will be able to come up with their rent. That monthly payment is important to both parties.

  1. Ask About Issues Regarding Background Checks 

If you are running a background check on your potential renters, ask them first about what you might find. This is helpful to learn more about them as a person.

If any issues can be found when you inquire, the potential renters choosing to be being honest will give you insight into their character.

These Are a Few Suggestions to Ask Prospective Tenants

Of course, allowing someone to live in your rental space is a big decision. Ask prospective tenants all of your questions prior to them moving into your space.

For further suggestions on renting out your space, we are here to help.

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