Having good tenants means a more pleasant manager experience and ensures consistent cash flow for your company. The screening process is key to finding the right tenants for your property. Here are five crucial screening questions to ask prospective tenants before they sign the lease.

1. What is the reason for your move?

The answer to this question may be the most important insight into the prospective tenant’s accountability. Are they leaving due to a dispute with the landlord or neighbours? Were they evicted? Or is their reason legitimate and innocuous? Perhaps they are looking for a quieter more relaxing neighbourhood, or wish to be in closer proximity to schools or their workplace. The answer to this question will provide you with a lot of information right off the bat.

2.When do you plan to move?

The answer to this question may just help you isolate those tenants whose move in schedules will coincide with your current tenant’s move out date. Those tenants whose moving schedules won’t work for you may just help you prioritize your list of applicants.

3. What is your monthly income?

The response to this one may just make it or break it. If a tenant’s monthly income is not sufficient to cover the monthly rent, it is likely they are not a good match for your property. The ideal income should be three times the amount of the monthly rent.

4. Will any pets move in with you?

This information is important to know in advance to avoid any uncomfortable situations. If your property is pet friendly, this can be a friendly conversation started. If however you have  a no pet policy, it’s crucial you find out this information at the initial screening process rather than later in the game.

5. Is anyone in your household a smoker?

Cigarette and Cigar smoke can greatly damage your property and lower its value, not to mention disturb the neighbours. If your property is smoke free, make sure this policy is made known at the initial meeting with prospective tenants to avoid any and all misunderstandings. And of course, if this question is answered in the affirmative and you have a no smoking policy, you can just move onto the next prospective tenant on your list.

6. How many people will be living in the unit?

This information will give you an idea if the prospective tenants will be an ideal match for your property. If five people wish to move into a 2 bedroom apartment, you may decide this is not the ideal setup for you and wish to move onwards in your search for the ideal tenants.

7. How long have you lived in your current home?

This innocent question can actually be very telling. If the tenant has a track record of moving every few months, you may not want to have him sign your lease as it is likely he will vacate your property as well in the near future. Managers should seek stable and responsible tenants who will pay the rent on time, be courteous and respectful and who will keep to the lease agreement.

8. Do you give your consent to have credit and background checks conducted?

After speaking to the applicant personally, the last and perhaps most important step is to check their records. You want to make sure this pleasant seeming tenant has never been evicted, convicted of a relevant crime and does not have a difficult financial situation that won’t allow for on time rent payments. You also want to make sure they have positive reference checks and steady employment history.

The MyPortal by Payquad solution:

With our seamless lead to lease module you can relax and allow Payquad to take over the credit check process for you. Enjoy the systemized conversion of prospects to tenants through our lead to lease module. Prospects will be converted from applicant to resident as soon as the lease is signed. Book a demo today to learn more!