Finding the right tenant can make or break your rental business, but it can be hard to know what questions to ask in order to find someone. And once you do have telling questions, what answers should you look out for? Having an effective screening process is crucial to being a successful landlord, and knowing what questions to ask and what answers to look for is an important step. In this article, we’ll go through what questions to ask and what red flags you should immediately disqualify as a tenant.
What is Your Monthly Income?
If their income is not at least three times the amount of rent, they can’t afford the property. Even if they’re able to pay the deposit and first month’s rent, this doesn’t guarantee they’ll be able to keep up on payments in the future. One way to check this is through a pay stub or their last years’ taxes.
What’s Your Credit Score?
A credit score doesn’t just show how likely someone is to pay rent, it also shows how responsible they are overall in their financial lives. A score of 670 is a good place to start, but remember that there are different scales, so this score will tell you different things if it’s on a scale of 900 versus 850. Always run this test for yourself, do not let a tenant bring in their own report as it could be falsified or out of date.
What is Your Current Address?
This question may seem simple, but it can actually tell you a lot about their current circumstances. What type of property are they currently living in? Are they moving up or down the property ladder? You can also drive by their current property and see if it’s been taken care of or if they’re abusing it. This will also allow you to look up their current landlord and ask them any questions you might have. If they’re currently living with friends or relatives, this may be a red flag that they just lost their job or got kicked out of their old place. Make sure to get the full story and verify any information they give you.
Can You Explain Any Employment Gaps?
Continuity of employment is very important. Your rental application should ask applicants to list their job history going back a few years. People are usually laid off or quit their jobs for a reason. As long as there isn’t a pattern, you shouldn’t worry too much. However, you want to see at least six months of steady current employment, especially if they have a history of hopping from job to job.
How Long Do You Plan to Live Here?
Finding a tenant that will renew their lease will save you time and money in the future. However, many landlords find that tenants wanting a month-to-month lease gives them a lot of flexibility, especially if the tenant ends up not being optimal. However, if they’re not willing to give you a straight answer or a reason they might not stay for very long, this could be a sign they plan on breaking the lease.
Looking for other potential red flag warnings you should be aware of? Contact Keyrenter Austin today!