You know how important it is to screen potential tenants before renting your property. But are you asking the right — and legal — questions?
4 questions to ask prospective tenants
Here are four questions we ask all applicants for properties we manage:
- When is your move-in date? If your property is vacant now, you’ll want to fill your vacancy as soon as possible. Make sure applicants want to move in on your schedule.
- How many people will be living in the property? Does your property have only two bedrooms? Make sure the size of the home is adequate for the number of people who will live there.
- Do you have pets? If so, what type, weight, and age? Some insurance agencies will cancel your insurance for defined “aggressive breeds of dogs.” Check with your insurance carrier to find out if your policy has this exclusion.
- What is your gross monthly income? You want to find out if the applicant has the ability to pay. The industry standard is a gross monthly income that is at minimum 3 times the rent.
Asking these four questions will go a long way to helping you find the best tenants for your property.
But it’s not the only thing you must do to avoid difficult tenants.
Prevent tenant misunderstandings
Even with a great screening process, you still need to set clear expectations with tenants to avoid misunderstandings.
One practice we follow is to require a “tenant orientation.” During this orientation, we review how the tenant is to report repair needs, pay rent, and communicate with the landlord.
Eviction is expensive and time-consuming, so you want to avoid it. Our KBN Homes Property Management division has an eviction rate of less than 1%. If you need help in this area, contact us to learn how our eviction protection program can save you a lot of money.
How have you selected top tenants and minimized your risk of evictions?
See the For Landlords page on our site for other property management tips and advice.