Homeowners: What to Look for in a Potential Renter


When deciding to rent your home or apartment there are numerous questions and a screening process that potential tenants should have. Before you advertise your place you should know exactly what you want in a tenant, and what the rules will be.

Of course you are going to run a credit check and a background check on anyone who fills out your application. But before you even get to that point, there are questions you can ask any potential renter that may help you decide if you even want to get to an application. Get a feel for their answers, such as hesitations or just a gut feeling you may have that they are not being totally honest with you.

• Ask them their full names. If they just want you to call them by their first names, this might indicate they have something to hide.

• Ask them where they work, and if you can contact their employer. Obviously you want tenants that are employed, and if they are not willing to let you talk to their boss, maybe they don’t have one.

• How many people will be living in the apartment or house? Are there children and if so, how old are they? You don’t want a family of eight moving into your one bedroom apartment.

• Do they smoke? If they do, will they be smoking outside? Smoke can really mess up the walls and any furnishings you might have.

• Why are they moving? Does their answer sound reasonable?

• Explain that you will need to contact their landlord. If they have a bunch of excuses why that is not a good idea, that will be a huge red flag.

• Do they have any pets, and if so, what are they? If you have a no pet policy, this should be explained upfront.

• Ask for their social security number. They should have no trouble providing it.

You will probably want to think of some other questions on your own that pertain to issues you may have. Just remember that there are certain things you can’t ask. Be sure and check out the laws for the Fair Housing Act. The more information you can get upfront, the more time you will save screening out people who are just not right for your rental property.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge