The reasons for screening an applicant for your apartment are obvious—you want the best tenants possible so you don't have to worry about the state of your apartment. But what are some of the questions or talking points you should ask during the screening process? Here are three that can help you weed out the good tenants from those to avoid like cockroaches.
Can I run a background check?
If the potential tenants want to avoid a background check, red flags should immediately spring up in your head. Background checks provide comprehensive history about the apartment applicants. If the tenants are willing to undergo the check, ask for a fee to get the check underway.
This fee averages to about $30 per applicant, and in return you find out about any past evictions, records such as filing for bankruptcy, or criminal records. These are all things you want to be aware of before even considering renting to these people. You can see professional help, from outlets such as Metropolitan Tenant.
Why are you moving?
If your applicants passed the background check, you can find out more about their current situation. That's why it's good to ask why they're moving. An honest answer should give you more insight and let you know if these are the people you're interested in renting to.
If they are moving because they couldn't afford their last place any longer, what makes you think they'll be able to afford your apartment?
If they are moving because they couldn't get along with previous neighbors or landlords, find out more about how their personalities clashed. The last thing you want is to hand over the keys, only to discover that you can't stand these people either.
What questions do you (the applicant) have?
This is an often overlooked part of the screening process, but one that gives the applicants a chance to find out more about the apartment. This is vital, because it will give you and the applicants a chance to hash out any discrepancies about the contract or apartment, such as who takes care of mowing the lawn in the summer or where the deposit needs to be sent at the beginning of each month. Starting a rental period with open communication helps to keep everything running smoothly.
After asking these questions, you should have a much better idea of who you're dealing with and if they're the type of people you want to have rent your apartment.