The First-Class Questions to Ask Your Tenant’s Previous Landlords or Property Managers

By Penny Callanan

A good Property Manager or Landlord will always check their previous references as part of screening prospective tenants once an application has been received for a rental property. By asking a few non negotiable important questions, you can easily find out concerns regarding the tenant and even avoid placing a problematic one. It’s critical you ask the right type of questions to obviate any discrimination claims or negligence of privacy rights.

Did they pay the rent in full and by the due date each month? A landlord or Property Manager can check a tenant’s responsibility through this question. If the tenant regularly missed rent by the due date, you may reevaluate them to avoid the inconvenience of late payments and breach notices.

Did they take care of the rental property? Did the tenant go over and above normal wear and tear? Distinguishing their history of property damage can assist you to tailor your expectations when it will come to maintenance.

Do they communicate correctly? A mindful tenant should find the time to return and answer back to telephone calls, emails, messages and any notices a Property Manager/Landlord leaves behind.

How was their behaviour towards neighbours and other tenants? It’s best to be precise when it comes to this question. Were there frequent noise complaints? Were they disruptive? If the tenant has a pet, were there any complaints about the pet?

Would you rent to this tenant again? The previous landlord’s or agent’s answer will give you a more understanding and clearer picture of what to forecast. If they are unwilling or give a strong “No,” you may want to reconsider over the prospective applicant. While it’s imperative to check a potential tenant’s references, you must not rely too heavily on the word of their previous landlord or agency. A comprehensive screening should also involve questioning other references such as their employer, financial statements, tenancy blacklist databases and so on.

Author by Penny Callanan.
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