Investing in a second home is one of the safest investments that we Indians do to earn a monthly rental income. But, before you started earning any rentals, the biggest mountain that you may have to climb is to search for a potential tenant. And yes, finding a tenant these days in like searching a needle in a haystack. You have to make sure that your property is in safe hands. Also, the tenant will take a good care of your home and will pay house rent on time. So, here is a list of some questions that you can use while screening for a prospective tenant.
What is the reason for moving to a new property?
Asking this question is a good way to break the ice between you and the tenant. The motto behind this question is to check the legitimate reasons for moving from the current property. The replies, such need for a bigger space, change in job, family expansion is acceptable. On the other hand, the reasons like being evicted and arguments with landlord or neighbours are warning signs for you. There is a chance that you may not end up in getting all the truth, still, the question is worth to ask.
How many people will stay in the property?
To avoid any disputes for future, it is your duty to ask the prospective tenant about the number of occupants moving in with him. Ideally, a maximum of two people should be accommodated per bedroom. If you wish, you can give a leverage of one more person to stay in the property. Lesser the number of occupants, lesser would be the chance of wear and tear to you home. Also, don’t forget to mention the name of all the occupants in the rent agreement.
What would be your move-in date?
Asking this question can reveal a lot of things about the prospective tenant. If an individual wants to shift at your place, then take this indication as a red flag for you. In India, most rent agreements have a clause in which a tenant has to inform at least 30 days before terminating the lease. If this person is in a hurry and wants to move in, say, next week, he must be breaching the contract with the current landlord. A responsible tenant never does such things with the landlord, until there are any unfavourable circumstances.
What is your total income?
It is quite awkward to ask this question as you are trying to dig deeper into someone’s personal life. However, the question holds a relevance and will help you in determining if this prospective tenant will be able to pay the house rent on time or not. While screening, you should also ask questions like:
- What is his position in the company?
- How long he is working in the current company?
- What is his daily working hours?
- Does his job involve rotation shifts?
Can you pay one month’s rent and security deposit in advance?
Expert says that the landlords should ask this question in advance whether he can pay at least a month’s rent and security deposit at the time of signing the lease. Any hesitation in doing so is an indication that he is likely to have difficulty in paying the monthly rent on time.
Can you give reference of your current landlord?
Ask the prospective buyer to provide you reference of his current landlord. If he hesitates, he might be hiding something from you. Upon getting the reference, ask these questions:
- Why is the tenant leaving?
- Was he able to pay the rent on time?
- Did you get any complaints against him from neighbours?
- Were there any maintenance or issues or major damages?
Do you have any pet(s)?
A prospective tenant with a pet can prove to be a deal-breaker for you. Well, it should not be a criterion to call off a deal. With pets comes a risk that they may scratch furnishings, damage the property or can become a reason for arguments with neighbours.