You’ll get a lot of information about a potential new tenant for your Orlando rental property when you evaluate their application and conduct a thorough screening process. Before you even get that far, however, you should ask some specific pre-screening questions that will tell you if this tenant is likely to be approved for your property.
These are three early questions we recommend you ask before you even schedule a showing.
1. Ask Why and When They are Leaving
Timing is a big part of renting out your property, and you want to make sure you’re not going to leave it vacant for too long. Always ask a prospective tenant when they’re hoping to move. If they want to move in two days and they’re pretty adamant about that, it could be a red flag. They shouldn’t be so desperate to leave their current home, and it might mean they need to get out quickly because of an eviction or a landlord dispute. You also don’t want to show your property to a tenant who won’t be ready to move for three months.
Ideally, your perfect tenant will be ready to move within two to four weeks of seeing your property.
Find out why they’re leaving as well. It could be that they need more space or that they’re downsizing. Maybe they are looking for new neighborhoods or specific amenities. Good tenants will easily discuss their desire to move. Potentially problematic tenants will not want to say why they’re moving and may speak badly about their current property and landlord, leaving you to wonder what’s really going on.
2. Ask if They’ve Ever Been Evicted Before
A case can be made for allowing a tenant with a past eviction to move into your property. If the eviction was 20 years ago, for example, and the tenant has done a good job of re-establishing a positive rental history, you’re probably going to be okay. However, recent evictions or more than one are a cause for concern. You’ll want to let prospective tenants know that evictions are deal breakers.
Not all tenants will admit to an eviction if you ask this question, but you’ll at least be signaling to them that this is something you’re going to check. If they do have an eviction that may disqualify them, they likely won’t bother applying to rent your home.
3. Ask about Combined Monthly Income
The most important quality in a tenant is their ability to pay rent. You want to make sure your tenants earn enough to meet the requirements of on-time rental payments. Ask what they do for work and how much they earn in a month. If they’ll be moving in with other people, find out how many and what those potential residents earn.
This question allows you to determine how many people will be living in the home and what they collectively earn. You’re looking for a combined income that’s at least three times the monthly rent.
These initial questions will help you determine whether you want to spend time getting to know more about these tenants and showing them your property. But, it’s only a starting point. For more tips on Orlando property management and leasing, please contact us at Park Avenue Property Management.