Questions to ask your prospective tenantsSaturday 8 August 2009, by The landlord guy
We’ve talked about how you can save money as a landlord, and we’d now like to move on and talk about questions you should ask when interviewing prospective tenants. Don’t give in to temptation and accept the first interested tenant that comes your way.
Here are some areas you should look into:
- Rental history
Nothing will give you better insight into your tenant’s value by getting references from previous landlords. Enquire about your tenant’s rental history and follow up on the references.
- Current employment
Tenants with a long-term, stable job will have a steady income, which we probably don’t need to point out, means steady payment of rent. However, there are some other questions you should ask to dig in a little deeper:
i) What is your job?
ii) Who is your employer?
iii) How long have you been working at this position?
iv) Are you in full-time or part-time employment?
Ask if your prospective tenant is able to provide a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who will vouch for your tenant and is legally obliged to cover any costs that your tenant fails to meet. If he or she can’t find anyone to vouch for them, be careful. There may be a genuine reason, but it’s best to investigate.
- Credit check
Ask your tenant whether they have any CCJs (County Court Judgment) against them or any other financial skeletons in the closest. Ask if they’re comfortable with getting a third party to perform a credit check on them. The person’s responses may be able to paint you a little story.
Ultimately as the landlord, you can ask as many questions as you feel is appropriate, and it’s up to you to decide which questions you feel are most important. Our advice is to choose your questions carefully, because there’s a fine line between interviewing and interrogation.