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Preliminary Questions to Ask a Potential Renter

A good renter does not come easily; you have to filter them out from the pool of prospective renters who are interested in your property. You may ask these prospective renters some preliminary questions up front before you go to the length such as running a credit check, et cetera.

Filtering your prospective renters early on is important so you do not waste your time on prospects who do not have the right profile that you require. Here are some things to consider when you filter a pool of prospective renters.


Some property owners have a certain objection when it comes to tenants who own pets, understandably because of the damage risks to the property that these pets may cause. Ruined carpet, lingering smell, they are just some of the reasons many homeowners do not tolerate pets. Asking the question whether a prospective tenant has pets will rule out any unwanted tenants right off the bat.

Tenancy history

This depends on what kind of policy you have regarding eviction record. Some property management company and/or owner may have a policy or preference that their tenants are free from any eviction records. If this is the case, ask the prospective tenant if they have been evicted from any property that they rented before. You may tell them that this will save both of your time, since their application will not be approved if it is to be found out later on that they do have eviction record.

Credit history

Prospective tenants with a mountain of collection fee should be giving you a red flag. Again, this goes back to your specific policy regarding tenancy. Let any prospective tenants aware if you have this kind of policy by asking them if they have any outstanding collection fee of more than $1,000.

Social security number

This is something that can be overlooked at times. Do not take for granted that any prospective renters would have a social security number, no matter how credible they may look in person. Ask them if they have social security number up front, and you will save much time if it turns out that they do not have one.

All of those are important questions that can serve as a preliminary filter before you proceed with all the legwork involved in renting out a property. By asking these questions early on, you are doing a favor for yourself and the prospective renter by filtering out people who might not be a good fit for your property.

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