Frequently Asked Questions Landlords Should Expect

Frequently Asked Questions for LandlordsAs the school year comes to a close and summer approaches, you may have units opening up that you’re looking to fill with new tenants. Every time you accept applications, you should also expect potential tenants to come loaded with questions. When your renters are in a high-volume area and have lots of options available, you need to put your best foot forward to make sure your properties aren’t sitting empty for too long. Make sure that you have the answers to all these questions!

1) How much are you charging for rent, deposits, utilities, and other fees?
This question is straightforward enough, but you should have a set answer. If your response varies from what potential renters have heard or seen advertised, or if you’ve overpriced the unit, you may lose their interest.

2) How soon do you need to fill the unit?
Depending on the time of year, this question can have a big impact on a renter’s decision. Many students are locked into current housing agreements and can’t afford to leave before their lease is up. Consider planning your leasing agreements wisely if you routinely rent to seasonal or part-year renters.

3) How do you accept payment?
It’s your right as a landlord to accept payment any way you choose, but some methods will be more appealing to renters than others. We recommend considering online payment.

4) What sort of screening do you do?
This is an important question! Tenants have a right to know what will be required of them, and you should give serious thought to the type of screening you’ll request. There are a variety of options, and what you choose may have an effect on your tenant pool. Depending on where you’re located, you may want to perform more stringent screening in order to find the best applicants.

5) What’s the level of interest in this property?
If asked this question, respond honestly. It will be easy enough for the renter to do some basic research to find out whether you’re making the unit sound more desirable than it is, and that will put them off. If it’s slow season, tell them so. You may have to deal with some pushback on rent during periods of low interest, but you can climb that hill when you get to it.

6) Do you have a pet policy, and are there fees?
Millions of people own pets, and being able to keep theirs with them is a big deal. On the flip side, some tenants may be specifically looking for pet-free housing due to preferences or allergies. Whatever your response, make it clear.

7) How do you deal with guests and subletting?
Another important question to be crystal-clear and honest about. Set up reasonable expectations so neither of you are caught off guard.

8) Is there crime in this neighborhood I should be aware of?
Don’t try to sugarcoat your response to this question — it can easily be cross-referenced. If the neighborhood or property has had some thefts or break-ins, be upfront, and then inform them what you’re doing to increase the security of your tenants.

These are only a handful of the questions you might expect from potential tenants. Be prepared to answer clearly and honestly, no matter what they ask. Consider all the things you’d ask if you were researching a unit. If you need any additional guidance or have questions about the screening services that are right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Tenant Screening Center!

Landlords Property Managers Contact TSCI