Finding the right tenant is more than just checking off a list of essential requirements like income and rental history. It's also about understanding the individual behind the application, their lifestyle, and how they may fit into your rental community. As a landlord, you can gain deeper insights into potential tenants by asking unconventional yet valuable questions. In this blog, we explore innovative questions to ask potential tenants that go beyond the basics and help you make informed decisions.
1. What does your ideal home look like?
This question allows you to gauge if your rental property aligns with the tenant's vision of an ideal home. Their response can reveal whether they see your property as a temporary stop or a place where they can truly settle in and make it their own. It's a great way to understand if the tenant's expectations match what your property can offer.
2. How do you handle conflict or disagreements with neighbours?
Understanding how a potential tenant deals with conflicts can help you assess their suitability for communal living in an apartment complex or shared housing. Ideally, you want respectful tenants who are open to communication and willing to find amicable solutions rather than escalating issues.
3. What hobbies or activities are you passionate about?
While this may seem unrelated to renting, a tenant's hobbies and passions can provide valuable insights. For example, a tenant who loves gardening might take excellent care of your property's garden, while a musician may need space for their instruments. It's an opportunity to see how well their lifestyle fits with your rental home.
4. How do you contribute to your community?
A tenant who actively contributes to their community may be more likely to be a responsible and considerate neighbour. By asking about their community involvement, you can gain insights into their character and the potential impact they may have on your rental community.
5. What are your long-term goals?
Understanding a tenant's long-term goals can help you determine if they plan to stay in your property for an extended period. It also provides insights into their stability and whether their goals align with the lease terms you offer.
6. Can you share your ideal living arrangement?
This question helps you understand if the tenant prefers living alone, with a partner, or with roommates. It's essential to match tenants with compatible living arrangements to avoid potential conflicts and ensure everyone's comfort.
7. How do you manage stress?
Knowing how a tenant copes with stress can be important for maintaining a peaceful rental environment. Whether it's through exercise, meditation, or other methods, their response can reveal whether they are likely to handle stress in a way that respects their neighbours and the property.
8. Do you have any special requests or needs?
Encouraging potential tenants to voice any special requests or needs upfront can help avoid misunderstandings later. It's an opportunity for them to disclose any requirements, such as accommodations for a pet or specific modifications they may need.
9. What do you value most in a rental property?
This question gets to the heart of what the tenant prioritizes in their living situation. It could be location, amenities, size, or something else entirely. Understanding their values can help you tailor your property presentation and meet their expectations.
These innovative questions can provide valuable insights into a potential tenant's personality, lifestyle, and compatibility with your rental property. While it's essential to balance these inquiries with legal and ethical considerations, they can help you make more informed decisions and foster positive landlord-tenant relationships.
Questions to Ask Potential Tenants - Final Thoughts
As a landlord, your goal is not only to find tenants who meet the basic criteria but also to create a harmonious and enjoyable living environment for all. By asking innovative questions that delve deeper into a potential tenant's personality and lifestyle, you can make more informed decisions and set the stage for a successful landlord-tenant relationship.
Easy Tenant Screening with Tenantcube
Looking for a convenient way to screen potential tenants. Tenantcube offers a robust tenant screening to help ensure you find your ideal tenants. Using our property management platform, you can send the same online rental applications used by experienced property managers to your prospective tenants and collect all the information and documents required to make the right decision. Tenantcube also offers 1-click credit reporting within the application section when you need it. Our reports empower you to understand your tenant's financial situation, the rental and employment history of the applicant, a social media scan, and a public court record check. Still not sure? Tenantcube offers rent protections that guarantees rental income should a tenant fail to pay. Learn more about our rent guarantee protection.
Questions to Ask Potential Tenants: FAQs
Q1: Can I ask personal questions about a potential tenant's family or background?
It's generally best to avoid asking personal questions related to a tenant's family, background, or protected characteristics (such as race, religion, or gender) to prevent potential fair housing violations. Stick to questions that are relevant to their ability to meet lease requirements.
Q2: Are there any legal restrictions on the questions I can ask potential tenants?
Yes, there are legal restrictions. Federal and provincial laws prohibit discrimination based on certain protected characteristics. You should familiarize yourself with these laws and avoid questions that could be perceived as discriminatory.
Q3: Should I ask these questions in writing or during an interview?
You can choose to include some of these questions on your rental application form, but others may be more suitable for an interview or conversation. Be sure to document responses to ensure consistency and fairness in your tenant selection process.
Q4: What if a tenant refuses to answer some of these questions?
Tenants have the right to refuse to answer certain questions. Respect their privacy and consider their willingness to answer as one of the factors in your overall assessment. If they refuse to answer crucial questions related to income or rental history, it may raise concerns.
Q5: Can I use the information from these questions to reject a potential tenant?
Yes, you can consider the information obtained from these questions as part of your tenant selection process. However, make sure your decisions are based on legitimate rental criteria and not discriminatory factors. Document your decision-making process to demonstrate fairness and transparency.