Decided to talk to all your tenant applicants before you filter them?
That's a great idea — but how do you know where to start?
Choosing a tenant can be extremely daunting, and if you’re wrong you may live to regret it.
You need to consider a number of factors before deciding who stays in your house.
Asking a few simple questions can help you weed out your tenants before meeting your list of final candidates.
Most savvy landlords know that pre-screening is an important step in the tenancy process.
It can also save you time that you might have otherwise spent on unnecessary meetings that ultimately result in rejection.
Here are some great pre-screening phone interview tips for landlords.
Find Out How They Heard About You
The first thing you want to know is how the tenant found out about your rental property.
Did they find you through a listing, a signboard, or through friends?
If they heard about your vacancy from a signboard or via friends, then they are probably familiar with the neighborhood.
This should help you make a judgment call on your applicant.
Before doling out any vital information about your property, be sure to find out how the tenant knows about you and what prompted them to choose your property.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want — this interview is about them, after all.
Pay close attention to their answers and follow your instincts.
If you feel good about the tenant, go ahead to the next process — but if you don’t have a good feeling, then nip this prospect in the bud straight away.
Plenty of others will come your way that you may feel more comfortable with.
Make sure that you do not ask questions contrary to the Federal Housing Laws, though, or you may find yourself in trouble.
Take Note of Their Mannerisms
The way a person talks can speak volumes about their character.
Are they respectful and polite, or are they forceful and dominant during the conversation?
Notice the tone of their voice and their responses to your questions.
Because if you’re unlucky, you might end up harboring a criminal, and you certainly don’t want that.
Even if tenants can pay the rent on time, you’ll want someone polite that will be easy to deal with, so be sure to focus in the person’s verbal mannerisms as part of your pre-screening process.
Be Sure About Their Interest Levels
The main factor to consider in a pre-screening interview is whether the potential tenant is really interested in moving, or whether they're just checking their options.
This can be a toughie, because few prospective tenants will be absolutely honest about their intentions.
Here’s a secret tip to gauge a prospect’s interest level: Tell them you need time to think it over, and that you’ll call them the next day to schedule a house tour — but then don’t call back. If they are genuinely interested, they will call you back on their own to organize the tour, and you won’t have to worry about entertaining time wasters.
Ask Some Questions and Stay Away From Others
Satisfy your curiosity as much as possible over the phone before inviting potential tenants for a tour.
Ask questions about their income, criminal records, background checks, financial situations, and smoking habits.
Be sure to stay away from any questions about the tenant's race, sex, nationality, religion, disability, or family status — these areas are considered discriminatory, and screening based on these questions is a violation of federal law.
You can be sued if it appears as though you rejected potential tenants based on these factors.
Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More
When it comes to reviewing a rental application, all of it may seem daunting; you will find it overwhelming because there is so much information that you yourself have to go through before the tenant... More
Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More
Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More
Becoming a landlord is a major deal and no one can simply get up and think, “well, yes I think I should be a landlord and rent out my flat.” If you are thinking that you would like to be a landlord,... More
If you’re a landlord and want to manage your business in a better way, you should endeavor to get in touch with those industry experts who have the experience and the skills to help you do it. This is... More
Landlords and aspiring landlords, do not become as such, without guidance and advice. There is a lot that goes into being a landlord nowadays; in fact, there is so much to learn that it often confuses... More
Renting out an apartment or a house can become a constant revenue source for landlords, but at the same time, it gives rise to several problems. It is a fact that high standards, a strict lease... More
If you are currently thinking of becoming a landlord only because it helps you have a constant stream of income, you should think twice. It’s not that you should not consider offering your property... More