Do not forget to ask these questions to your rental property applicants

Property Management Blog

If you are a property manager, it is your responsibility, and also the endeavor, to allow entry in the property to good quality tenants only. You have a robust tenant screening system in place for this purpose. However, despite your best attempts, some bad tenants find a way to get inside your rental property. Here are some questions that are usually not a part of a common questionnaire handed over to applicants. Answers to these questions give you a clue as to whether the applicant is telling you the truth or hiding some facts about him.

How will you explain gap in your rental history?

If the applicant’s rental history has some gaps, it is important for you to know how and where he lived during this period. Why he has not revealed himself about this gap in his living arrangement. Many a times, the reason is simple and easily explained. The applicant may have moved in with a friend and so it does not show in his rental history. The relationship turned sour and the applicant is too embarrassed to talk about it. But many times, applicant do not tell that this gap is because of an eviction. There are also applicants who are not able to get a referral form their landlord and so they simply hope that you do not notice this gap in their residential living history.

How do you explain gap in work history?

It is important for you to allow entry to applicants who are stable in their lives. If there is a gap in employment history of the applicant, it raises questions that you need to ask. In most cases, reasons are simple and innocent such as taking time off from work or attending a college for some course. Some people even live with their old relatives to take care. If the applicant is forthcoming and easily gives answers for reasons behind gaps in work history, you can allow him entry inside your property. But if he fumbles and fails to give a convincing answer, it is better to stay away from such a tenant as he is hiding something that is of a serious nature.

Who others will live with you?

This is a very important question to ask whenever you are dealing with a man or woman who is not married. His income level, credit history, and work history may be impeccable, but you should not allow a tenant who gives a one liner such as no one or my son as answer to your question. It has been seen on many instances that the other person who moves in along with the applicant is not a close relative but only a roommate. You do not get a chance to check his credit history or work history and he simply hitch hikes the applicant to enter your property.

Do you own pets?

Most tenants give a simple yes or no as an answer to this question. But when they see that they can be denied entry on account of pets, they try to hide the fact. Some do this to avoid paying pets fees while others do it to get entry for their aggressive breed of dog. There are also families having odd pets other than dogs and cats. Though you can always find out whether the applicant owns a pet on not after moving in, it is better to know about this fact up front so as to avoid disputes later on.

Every once in a while, you will come across applicants who will lie to you on these question. It is better to ask these questions and get clear answers rather than knowing the facts later on and then taking corrective action.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty.

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