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Renting Out Your Home – What are the Questions you Should Ask Prospective Renters

If you are planning on renting out your apartment, house or condominium unit, or perhaps a room or two in your own home, you need to choose your renter very carefully. The best way to get to know your prospective renter is to request their banking information and references as well as to meet them in person. This will allow you to get to know your prospective renter and learn more about why they are seeking this type of rental agreement. If the two of you are a good match, you may have the ideal living situation. Here is what to ask before you choose a renter.

Income – Do they have a job, or are they self-employed? What is their average monthly income? Can they provide paychecks or bank statements to prove this?

How much rent would they be paying? – Never pitch the rent too high, or you could end up with a choice of one who resents the lease and takes this out on your assets.

Who will pay the rent? – Oftentimes tenants may be sponsored by their company or a friend or family member. Know who is paying as well as their contact information. 

Where have they lived for the past three years? – If the renter previously rented elsewhere you should get references.

Character – This is a tough one because people lie easily when they are desperate for a roof over their head. Rely on a gut feeling, aided and abetted by a few obvious clues. What is the condition of their car? If dirty, that is how they will probably leave your home. How are they dressed, and can you relate to them easily? The acid check is could you evict them if it came down to that, or are they professional squatters?

How long are they planning to stay? – A responsible renter will suggest an initial six months lease renewable by joint consent. Realtors seldom go for less because they know the hassles attached to exchanging tenants. Never agree to an open-ended lease, and always have a written agreement that both parties sign.

How many people will occupy the property? – Will there be guests staying over too? More than one landlord has ended up with a family of four living in a bedroom made for two.

What about pets? – Even if you are an animal lover, think about this one carefully. What will happen to their pets when they are at work? Will yours get on with theirs?

There is an element of risk in every lease arrangement. Homeowners need to be especially careful about letting strangers in if they are not inexperienced. If you are unsure how to find a renter for your home, it may be easier to go through an experience and reputable estate agent. At the very least, you must have your questions answered acceptably, references checked, and a signed lease agreement, along with the first months rent and a security deposit.

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