Tenant Pre-Screening: Five Questions to Ask Prospective Tenants

If you’ve been in the rental business for some time, you’ve probably run across at least a few bad tenants. Evictions, having the police called out, and the clean-up involved with a trashed apartment are only a few of the potential issues that can give your rental company a bad reputation. However, many of those problems can be reduced or even eliminated altogether when you implement a good, consistent tenant pre-screening process.

tenant screening

It will pay off in the long-term to have each and every tenant submit a rental application and authorize a criminal background check and credit report.

It can be tempting to try to fill those empty apartments as quickly as possible – after all, every empty apartment means less income for you – but it will pay off in the long-term to have each and every tenant submit a rental application and authorize a criminal background check and credit report. Keep reading to find out five questions to ask prospective tenants that can help you to separate the good from the bad!

Important Questions to Ask Your Tenants

  • Why are you moving?

This question is a great way to see if they’ve had conflicts or issues with previous landlords. Look for legitimate reasons, like they need a bigger place or they just got a new job in the area.

  • When do you want to move in?

If they say something like “next week” or “tomorrow,” chances are, this person is not a very good planner and likely has neglected to give their landlord the courtesy 30-days notice. You don’t want them to leave your property in a few years without notice! Good, responsible tenants typically will be looking to move within the next 30 to 90 days.

  • What is your income?

This question is one of the most obvious – you need to make sure that your tenants can afford to pay their rent on time and in full! Look for a monthly income about three times that of what you’re asking in rent. Also beware of anyone asking to pay the security deposit in payments or monthly installments.

  • May I call your former landlords and employer?

Unfortunately, people can and do lie on their rental applications. The only way to be sure is to have AIR Pre-Hire verify the information. We will call previous landlords and the prospective tenant’s current employer to make sure everything checks out. Beware of anyone not willing to consent to these terms!

  • Do you consent to a credit check and background check?

If the answer is no, these are not tenants you want living in your rental units. If they don’t consent, they almost certainly have something to hide. You should treat all applications equally and hold them to the same standards.


AIR Pre-Hire in Reisterstown, MD, conducts accurate and verified universal background screening, so you will have thorough background checks on your employees. Here at AIR Pre-Hire we don’t simply check the basic information, we dig deep to identify inconsistencies and make sure your potential employees (as well as existing employees) are acceptable for hire. This is the human element of our custom pre-screening service. You can count on us for timely, verified pre-screening and employee re-screening.

Learn more by visiting our website www.air-prehire.com or calling us at 1-800-469-4473. Check us out on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest as well.


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