The number of people renting homes instead of buying is on the rise. In the last three years, single-family rentals have gone up by 30 percent.
In case you’re a homeowner looking to rent out your property, that’s good news. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding interested tenants. But beware that there is stiff competition amongst potential renters for your property. When you’re looking for tenants, you should always include an interview as part of the process.
Below, we’re sharing five questions that you should always ask potential tenants. Their answers can help you determine if they’re actually the right people to be living on your property.
Let’s get into it!
1. Why Are You Moving?
When you’re looking for tenants to live on your property, you want to find out as much about them as possible. Asking potential renters why they are moving can reveal a lot of information. Look for tenants that have legitimate reasons, such as a new job, an expanding family, or a bigger budget for a better location.
2. What Is Your Income?
Asking about money can be awkward, but as a landlord, it’s your right to know how much a potential tenant makes. Ideally, your tenant should have a monthly income that is at least two and a half times the monthly rent. This number is important because it provides a buffer. It also shows that your tenant is responsible with money.
3. How Many People?
It might seem unconventional, but sometimes couples or families will move into rental spaces together. Obey Fair Housing Laws but you should cap the number of tenants at two people per bedroom. Anything more than that could result in extra wear and tear of your belongings.
4. Can You Provide References?
When asked, someone who wants to rent your property is going to tell you that they’re a great tenant. They’re likely to sing their own praises – clean, on time with the rent, quiet, and so on. Always ask for references, regardless of what they’re telling you. If they’re unwilling to provide them, they might not be the dream tenants they’re pretending to be. Be cautious when calling rental references to assure they are the owner/landlord and not a friend or relative.
5. What Questions Do You Have?
Once you’ve learned everything you need to know, give potential tenants an opportunity to ask questions of their own. They may bring up something you hadn’t thought of, like your pet policy or questions about the neighborhood or how you handle repairs. Allowing them to ask questions can also help build a better tenant-landlord relationship, which is helpful. You don’t have to be overly friendly, but it’s good to establish open communication.
Ready to Start Looking for Tenants?
You take care of your property, and you deserve to have tenants who will take care of it too. You never really know what a tenant will be like until they’ve moved in, but these questions can help you make an informed decision.
Something else to consider . . . are you an educated landlord? Do you know Landlord/Tenant Law? Do you have access to proper forms, leases, and addendums?
If not, perhaps you should consider having a Property Mgmt. company manage the property for you. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to keep you and your investment protected.