Questions to Ask Your Tenant

Posted by dagmar | |

renters insurance Questions to Ask Your Tenant

Luxury Homes for Rent in Atlanta GA


If you have an investment property and you want to find a good tenant there are steps you
should take and be very careful whom you rent your property to. Do your due diligence by
contacting previous employers and landlords (most of the time you want to contact not just
the immediate landlord but several other landlords in the past from whom the tenant leased
from. The best thing is to get a letter from a previous landlord (if one exists) since they have nothing to gain by being honest; the tenant is already gone so they don’t have to make up
stories to make them move out.

We want to share with you some of the basic questions you want answered by the prospective tenant. We can provide you with standard lease application but we can share with you what questions you may want to ask your potential tenant up front:

1. Current Residence (How Many Years at this Location).
2. Previous Residence (How Many Years at that Location).
3. Employment verification (How Long on the Job) and Supervisor’s Name.
(if less than a year, inquire about where else they worked and how long at each job).
4. Social security number with tenants permission to run a credit check (most banks are
requiring a 650+ credit score to lend money so you want to be in this range to make|
sure the rental candidate has a good financial track record) Remember… bad things
happen to Good People but you want to protect yourself from tenants who are a bad
risk for your property.
5. Names and ages of children, family members and anyone who will be living in the property.
6. Pets if any – what kind of a pet (cats, dogs, birds, etc.) and if they are indoor or outdoor pets.
7. Any recent (within 3-5 years) foreclosures or a bankruptcy.
8. Make & model of all cars and vehicles that will be parked on the property & copies
of insurance.
9. Make sure tenant understands that they will have to carry renter’s insurance.
10. Deposits – clarify that you want to receive a Certified Check for the deposit or check
must clear before the move in date.

There are many questions that a Realtor or a landlord might ask, but you want to make sure
you get the correct & right answers before turning over the keys to your property.
First question: ask to speak with the current landlord or property manager. A letter of reference is not enough and could be forged or written to get rid of a bad tenant.
Don’t ask: ‘did they pay their rent on time?’ It’s too easy for the answer to just be yes.
Instead ask: ‘How many times did you have to request a late fee for rent checks? or ‘How many returned checks did you receive from this tenant?’ ‘What is your late fee in this case?’ These questions force the landlord or property manager to come up with more than yes – no answers and could give you clues to how things went during the rental period.
Here is another leading question: ‘Will you be able to return the entire security deposit when the tenant vacates?’ This tells you if there is any damage or if the tenant gave the full amount of security. ‘Did the tenant use any portion of the security for their rent?’ Many tenants refuse to pay rent at the end of the lease and instead expect the landlord to utilize the security. If there are any damages at the end of the lease, the security deposit is no longer available to make repairs.
Depending on the answers, the tone of voice, any hesitation, you will be able to ask more like ‘What exactly happened that required repairs?’
Another good question is: ‘Was the tenant cooperative about showing the space to new prospects?’
When your tenant is about to leave, you want to make sure that they will not inhibit new tenants from looking or you could have a vacant property in between tenants and that will cost you money. Ask specifically: ‘At what times were showings permitted for new tenants to see the home/apartment?’ This will give you a clue to what to expect when your lease it up and the ease of finding/showing new tenants the space.
Also ask: ‘Did you have many repairs requested during the course of the lease?’
Sometimes tenants are particularly hard on property and it is good to know what if anything was broken.
There is no guarantee that any of these questions will be answered honestly, but it is important to also verify that the length of time the tenant says they lived in the place, matches up to what the landlord discloses. It is good to make sure you are getting straight answers.
It is always to your advantage to hire an attorney for advice and make sure your lease protects you. Landlord tenant relationships can be tricky and the law protects the rights of tenants, so if yours does not pay rent, it will cost you.

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