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5 Questions to Ask When Screening Tenants

Tenant screening questions

Why do we suggest adding screening questions for your possible tenants? By doing this you can save more time, effort, and any unexpected expenses. We also suggest that you create lease criteria or standards beforehand to keep everything organised.

“Why do I need to ask questions for possible tenants?” “What does that do for me and my property rental business? 

These are the type of questions that we usually get when we suggest to landlords or property owners and property managers that they should screen their possible tenants before anything else.

So why do we suggest screening tenants? By doing this you can save more time, effort, and any unexpected expenses. We also suggest that you create lease criteria or standards beforehand to keep everything organised.

Some of the things that you need to keep in mind are that your ideal tenant should have:

  • Steady monthly income and employment history
  • A clear reason why they are moving into your property or sometimes an eviction report
  • Good credit score

Remember that it is okay to set expectations upfront and only show properties to somewhat qualified people. Again, time is money and as a landlord, we know that landlords are busy people and they don’t want anything that will waste their time.

Listed below are our Top 5 questions to include in your tenant screening checklist or questionnaire

  1. When are you planning to move in?
  2. How many people will be living in the unit with you?
  3. How long have you lived in your current home?
  4. What is your monthly income?
  5. Have you ever been evicted?


    1. When are you planning to move in?

    This question should be on the top of your questions to ask potential tenants because if you determine that your unit won’t fit each other’s timeline, you’ll save yourself the time and hassle of going through the rest of your tenant screening questions.2. How many people will be living in the unit?As a landlord or property manager, you want to make sure that there are enough rooms for your tenants to stay in and be comfortable with it.

    2. How many people will be living in the unit?

    As a landlord or property manager, you want to make sure that there are enough rooms for your tenants to stay in and be comfortable with it.

    3. How long have you lived in your current home?

    This will determine if they are hopping around from property to property or not. This can also say a lot about their attitude towards renting properties. Asking this question can prevent you from accepting tenants that lacks stability.

    4. What is your monthly income?

    The standard of the industry requires tenant’s monthly income three times from their rent or possible rent. And based on the 2014 SmartMove user survey, it reveals that payment problems are one of the top concerns of landlords with new tenants. Asking this question will guarantee landlords that their tenants can pay their rent even if an issue arises.

    5. Have you ever been evicted?

    Research from TransUnion shows that past evictions are predictive of future evictions. Asking this question will guide you if you want to proceed or not or proceed with caution. However, different factors can affect your decision, for example, the tenant has been evicted to his past home but their financial and credit score is in good standing.

    A complete tenant screening is one of the most crucial steps in finding a good tenant. Doing your homework and asking the right questions will increase your chance of finding reliable and profitable tenants.

About Author

Julie Camacho, a product specialist of Mi Property Portal, an 𝐀𝐥𝐥-𝐢𝐧-𝐎𝐧𝐞 software that will streamline your entire residential property management business. This software is built for small to mid-sized Canadian property management companies, individual landlords, and investors.
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