How to choose a tenant - 13 questions to ask
How should you choose a tenant? CAREFULLY.
Everybody's had horror stories about obnoxious, untidy and plain and simple weird roommates / housemates; no need to torture yourself with one if you can choose it yourself.
After going through the search for a tenant, here are some questions I suggest asking:
- Clearly explain the conditions for the rent and the house rules, asking the potential tenant how they feel about it (regardless of whether you added this in the ad, you want to be sure they are aware of it):
- Rent money + average of bills (included / excluded)
- Frequency and method of payment
- How many people live in the house and the policy on partners / guests overnights
- Whether pets / smokers / etc. are allowed
- When the decision will be communicated
- How long do you plan to rent for?
- When would you ideally move-in?
- What do you do for a living? How long is your workday?
- Have rented before? If yes, why are you moving now?
- How were your previous experiences with your house/flat mates?
- Are you still friends with your old roommates?
- What's your worst experience?
- How often do you clean? What is your least favourite chore?
- What do you usually do during the weekday? During the weekends?
- Do you like to have friends over or keep the party outside?
- What’s your romantic situation? Will your partner be staying over?
- Do you have references? (especially from employer)
- Anything else I should know?
- Any questions for me?
I advise setting individual appointments with your potential tenants, so you can get to know them better. Also, during the interview, take notes (whether on paper or on a spreadsheet); this will hep you make a decision later.
Lastly, go with your gut: if the person you're interview doesn't seem enthusiastic or interested in answering your questions, move on. You don't want someone who has lukewarm feeling about the place or you.
P.S. The images are from one of my first tenants .. lets just say learned from my mistakes.