What's the best way to screen tenants??

4 Replies

What questions do you ask to tell if a prospect would be a good tenant? Are there other tricks you use outside of the traditional screening report? 

In how much depth would you recommend a landlord go into when screening a potential tenant? 

One thing that we do for my management company is ask them "how soon are you wanting to move?" This will give you a great idea of where they are in life and their motives. Most but not all that say right away are in a bad situation (eviction or kicked out) and that is why they say right away. I also have noticed those that care more about the amenities than the price are usually the ones that care about the house or property than those that are solely focused on the money. When going to see the property with them if they are late or make an excuse that isn't an emergency or serious issue we don't follow through with them period, because if they are late for the appointment they will be late on payments and other things.

I think it depends on your area and what type of tenants you are expecting to attract.

I have one house that is in such a bad location, if the prospective tenant doesn't completely sketch me out in the first 5 minutes then I'm cool with them renting it lol. Then again, this is my HUD house and its actually been great so far.

The very first post (the sticky) in this forum links to an e-book about tenant screening.  You should read it.  

@Michael Guzik Great point! You can find out a lot about a tenants intentions by asking more open ended questions. 


@Derek E. Understandable! I'm sure it can change a lot dependent on the landlord's situation! 

@Bettina F. Thanks! I'll check it out. 

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