Tennent screening questionnaire

11 Replies

Hello BBP community. I have just recently purchased my home and I am looking for tenants. I was wondering if there is a questionnaire available that list specifics questions to ask potential tenants. I want to be sure the right people are moving in. Thanks :) 

Ryan I suggest you start with some fair housing training first... you have to be very careful about what you say and do not say to potential applicants so hat you do not discriminate... also most local renters associations have general applications and rental documents that you can use and as always consult an attorney as well!! Hope that helps congrats on becoming a new landlord!!!

@Jenifer Kynor hi, which ones have applications that you can add questions?  I liked cozy.co, but I though the only problem was they did not answer all the questions I had.  I am in the same boat as Ryan, and I though it would be nice if I could direct people directly to a site, but also provide a paper application if they preferred.  Thank you in advance. 

@Ryan Marrero I would suggest to you take a look at the ultimate guide to tenant screening here on BP. It is a great resource and a great start for getting an idea on what you should be asking and requiring of your prospective tenants. 

www.biggerpockets.com/tenantscreening

@Ashley Hernandez is right in saying you need to be sure you are not putting things into your paperwork that are discriminatory to protected classes. The guide I have linked here also discusses these protected classes and is a great tool. 

Hope this helps. 

I updated mine using  the Tools tab, Fileplace, and searched for application.  Then I took the best ideas from those and created my own specific to my own priorities.  I do state directly on the application that I perform rental history and income verification before asking them to complete an online background/credit check, so they do have to complete the TransUnion Smartmove or other online screening as well.  

Awesome thank you for the feedback. 

As far as preliminary screening before I schedule a showing, this is what I ask:

Hi (applicant name),

Thank you for your interest in (rental address). I am available to schedule a showing but before I do, please reply with the following information;

1) What is your Total Monthly Gross Income?

2) How long have you worked at your current job?

3) What is your current credit score?

4) Why are you leaving your current living situation?

5) Have you ever been evicted?

6) Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

7) Names of all those who would live in the unit.

8) Do you smoke?

9) When are you looking to move?

Believe it or not this weeds out about 50% or more of people who didn't read my entire listing that has income and credit score requirements on it. I value my time, so the more people I can weed out just by sending an email is time saved from traveling to the home, showing the place, etc. 

I used to think I had to show my place to as many people as possible to ensure it got rented to a great tenant, now my goal is the exact opposite. Show it to 3-5 of the most qualified people and get it rented.

Shaun, thank you for sharing your initial email. I just closed on my first house a couple of days ago and listed the house. I got my first inquiry email today and I will be defenitly using your questionnaire. 👍🏼

Make sure you have studied and understand all your state landlord tenant regulations prior to dealing with tenants. Knowing the regulations that govern your business is mandatory if you want to avoid having a tenant take you to court.

I put my minimum requirements on my listing add. It cuts down on the calls I get from the people I won't to rent to.

Originally posted by @Jim S. :

I put my minimum requirements on my listing add. It cuts down on the calls I get from the people I won't to rent to.

I do this and I am still amazed at how many people that don't qualify still contact me. Last week I even had someone ask to see if I would accept $250 less when I was asking $1250.

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