Why You Should Be Interviewing Prospective Tenants

Why You Should Be Interviewing Prospective Tenants

by Shae H

Renting a property always comes with some risks — it’s just how the game goes. But you have a better chance of negotiating these risks successfully if you interview prospective tenants and screen them in advance. Not convinced yet? Keep reading.

Employment Verification

You will want to make sure that your new tenants have steady employment or other reliable income sources. This will give you additional assurance that rent will be paid on time and in full on the due date. You should find out how long your prospective tenants have held their current jobs and ask them to provide verifiable employer contact information.

Reason for Moving

Asking why a prospective tenant wishes to move from his or her current residence to your rental property is another great way to screen people. Good reasons for a move include changing jobs, attending school or relocating a family to a better area. If the tenant complains a lot about a current living situation or reveals that he or she has been asked to move, you will likely want to move on to other interested applicants.

Why You Should Be Interviewing Prospective Tenants

Eviction History

During the interview, you can also find out if the prospective tenant has been forced to move out of a home by the landlord. He or she may be able to offer a suitable explanation for any prior evictions, but you should be cautious about renting to anyone with a lengthy eviction history. If any back rent was owed to a landlord, find out if and when it was paid and whether legal action had to be taken.

Number of Occupants

Just because a single person applies to rent doesn’t mean that there may not be other tenants living in the home. While interviewing a candidate, find out exactly how many other people are expected to be sharing the rental. More property damages are likely to occur if more people live in the unit. Overcrowding can also pose serious safety hazards. It is best to allow a maximum of two people for every bedroom that you have.


If you want to make sure that only the best people will be living in your rental, interviewing prospective tenants is a must. Interviewing can end up saving you a lot of time, hassle and extra expense. If you find that you’re consistently attracting lackluster tenants, talking to more experienced landlords or even consulting a real estate lawyer can offer some helpful insights.

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