Top Tenant Screening Questions
- What date would you like to move in?
- Do you have pets?
- How long have you lived in your current home?
- Why are you moving?
- How many people will be living in the unit?
- How many people living with you smoke?
- What is your monthly income?
- Have you ever been convicted of a relevant crime?
With your investment strategy lined up, it’s time to prepare yourself for the tenants in your investment properties. But before you put on your landlord hat and begin conducting interviews, as a landlord, you’re responsible for being aware of local, state, and federal laws that govern discrimination and your screening criteria for tenants.
Now, of course, every investor seeks out the perfect tenant, one that never causes damage and is always timely with their payments, renewing their lease year after year. No matter how sound your investment is, without good tenants, your income stream is unsteady. Good tenants are the backbone of successful real estate investment portfolios.
But how do you sort through the hundreds of applicants to find these gems? Read on as we explore four tips for interviewing prospective tenants for your Phoenix rental property.
Our first tip for interviewing prospective tenants for your Phoenix rental property is to prescreen. Processing applicants can be costly, so sorting through all applicants and narrowing down the candidates is a time and money saver. At this time, you’ll explain the process for approval and request they fill out the application, explain the criteria you’ll use for approval, and what they can expect if approved. Explain that you will be running a full background and credit check and that you will contact references. Often, just the threat of thorough investigation will sort out many unworthy applicants of their own accord. If they haven’t run away yet at this point in the process, then the probability is that they aren’t concerned about what you will find in your searches.
Background and Credit
The initial application process is no time to trust your gut or skip a step because you have a good feeling about a prospective tenant, which leads to our next tip for interviewing prospective tenants for your Phoenix rental property. First, run a complete background and credit check on every single applicant. Previous evictions are a red flag to proceed with caution, but you should remain fair in your consideration and take it on a case-by-case basis. Circumstances in life can cause blips on our credit history; consider how they have resolved their credit issues. If there is a criminal record and they have paid their debt to society, carefully weigh the type of crime and how much time has passed since the last incident. Take the time to ensure that you’re not placing someone with a long and uninterrupted history of violent crimes into your properties.
Our next tip for interviewing prospective tenants for your Phoenix rental property is to take the time to contact every reference and don’t be in a hurry for responses; let them talk. These personal connections can offer insight into a tenant that no amount of information on an application can supply. You’ll want to seek out personal contacts, which may clue you into the type of lifestyle your prospective tenant enjoys, employers for stability, and previous landlords who will offer insight into what kind of tenant experience you’ll receive from this applicant.
Cowley Home Buyers
Hire Cowley Home Buyers as your property manager; our final tip for interviewing prospective tenants for your Phoenix rental property is to leave it to the pros. Who is better at interviewing prospective tenants than professionals like those at Cowley Home Buyers who know the job the best. With a successful system already in place at Cowley Home Buyers, there is no need for you to reinvent the tenant screening wheel. If you’re ready to hand over this important step of property management to the experts, Cowley Home Buyers is here to help. Contact Cowley Home Buyers at (480) 744-5941.