Before renting to any tenant, there are a few key questions you should pose to them in order to assess their financial status and see if they’d make a suitable fit for your property.
However, you should avoid asking tenants certain questions which violate fair housing laws and may put you at risk of discrimination claims.
1. What is your desired move-in date?
Move-in dates often coincide with lease starting dates; however, this can differ due to most renters choosing not to move in immediately after their predecessor vacates, giving their landlord time for cleaning, painting and any repairs needed in preparation for new renters arriving.
That is why it is recommended to ask for your desired move-in date several weeks or months early, giving the landlord some leeway regarding when they prepare the apartment for you to move in. That will increase their likelihood of accepting your offer and giving you more leverage when negotiating rent!
2. In what capacity are you employed?
When applying for jobs, application forms often ask applicants to list previous employers and in what capacity they worked for them. “Capacity” simply refers to what role or function was performed while employed at previous jobs.
3. What is your income?
Your income refers to all the money that flows in from all sources – this may include salary, bonuses, commissions and side hustle earnings as well as Social Security/pension payments as well as money from interest or capital gains.
4. Do you have any pets?
Pets are domesticated animals that have been domesticated and domesticated specifically to be companion animals within human environments. A pet may include any domesticated species such as a dog, cat, bird or fish and will require training and care from its owner.
As a landlord with pets, the key to renting to tenants with pets is selecting those best suited to your home and lifestyle. Take into account factors like yard space and budget when deciding which animal species might work for your household.
Make sure that the pet you adopt is up-to-date with their vaccinations and any licensing or tags mandated by local authorities; otherwise you could waste both your time and money! A great way to do this is through conducting an interview and snapping a photo – an impressive pet would likely be one who displays manners, is trained, clean cut and well mannered!
5. Do you have a service animal?
Renters should ask tenants whether or not they possess a service animal when renting to someone with disabilities. This inquiry is especially essential in rentals to these groups of renters.
An assist animal, also known as a service animal, is defined as any animal specifically trained to assist individuals with disabilities by performing tasks or providing services for them. Common examples include guide dogs for the blind and alert dogs for those with hearing impairments as well as various therapy and assistance dogs.
When tenants mention they have service animals, it’s wise to first verify whether or not they possess documentation from a healthcare professional that documents how it will help their disability. If that proves true, allow the animal into your property.
6. Have you ever broken a lease?
Signing a lease binds tenants to pay an agreed upon monthly rent for an agreed upon duration – usually 12 months but this could vary.
However, many renters find themselves wanting to vacate their apartment prior to the end of their lease term due to issues with roommates or needing to relocate.
To avoid such consequences, it is wise to document everything from the start, so both parties are protected legally if matters become litigious.
Breaking a lease can be difficult, particularly if there’s no compelling reason for doing it, but there are ways you can exit without incurring fees or paying any penalties.