11 Best Questions to Ask Potential Tenants!
15 May 2023

11 Best Questions to Ask Potential Tenants!

Not carefully screening potential tenants is one of the biggest blunders you can make when renting out your property. Without thorough screening methods, you risk getting a tenant that will cause more harm than good. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to all of these issues. 

potential tenants- criminal conviction

Let’s go over eleven questions to ask Potential Tenants to help you select the best applicant.

1. Have you ever violated a lease? Landlords must ask to Potential Tenants.

It’s reasonable to suggest that you should be concerned and that it should be a warning sign if a potential tenant has in the past broken a rental agreement. It doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t rent to them, but it does indicate you should look into it further. There are some situations where it wouldn’t be necessary to label them as poor renters.

2. What is the state of your employment?


Will they have a reliable source of income to be able to make their rent payments on time each month? Ask them how long they have worked for their present employer (job stability) as a follow-up question.

3. Have you recently filed for bankruptcy? Important to ask from Potential Tenants

It may be as crucial to inquire about their employment and financial situation. It’s a little bit of a personal question, and some potential customers could even find it awkward to respond. They shouldn’t feel the need to hide anything or act awkwardly, though, if the response is positive.


Don’t be afraid to learn negative information about the person you are renting your property to because it is an important question you should ask a prospective renter while completing a screening.

4. Do check if Potential Tenants have a good history with your present landlord?

This investigation is largely conclusive. The prospect is okay with you checking their employment status, income, and behavior in their existing property if they are happy to supply references. It is therefore less probable that they are hiding something from you.


Anyone who is asked to complete a screening can falsify or omit information. A genuine reference from a credible third party with expertise in the field can offer more detailed information to aid in your tenant’s evaluation. Do read  Landlord Tenant Relationship guide.

5. When do you hope to relocate, and why do you want to make that change now?

Tenants that want to move in right immediately should raise red flags, unless they have a compelling reason. An applicant who wants to move in right away may be unreliable because most landlords want a month’s notice from the tenant if they want to leave.

They’re shifting, but why? In most cases, the reasons will be reasonable and sincere, but you should be on the lookout for warning signs like evictions and disputes with neighbors.


6. Have you received a relevant criminal conviction?


Although you may not be able to reject a potential tenant for having committed a crime, you should keep a look out for pertinent convictions that could endanger your property or neighborhood:

  • Arson, burglary, intoxicated driving, etc.
  • Production or distribution of a banned drug without authorization

 If you ask this question, be sure to be consistent; either ask all candidates, or don’t. Remember that the Fair Housing Act protects potential tenants who formerly took drugs but are now in treatment or have given up using them.

7. Do you own any animal?


46% of rental homes have pets, with dogs (31%) and cats (22%) being the most prevalent. Asking this initial question during tenant screening will save you both time and money if the renter has pets and you have a no-pet policy. You will be able to learn if they comply with any pet policy criteria, such as the number and size of pets, if you decide to let them in. A good moment to mention any pet deposits or monthly pet fees is now. Be aware that regardless of your pet policy, federal fair housing rules may forbid you from refusing service and emotional support animals.

Potential Tenants- lady with pet dog


8. When you sign the lease, will you be able to pay the security deposit?

This is a significant expense compared to the application fee and one that landlords ought to bring up with potential  tenants. Although you cannot reject an application based on their response, it will help them anticipate the move and set expectations.

9. When do you anticipate relocating?

Finding out when they intend to move is an excellent question to ask potential tenants. They could be unable to move right away since they have time left on their present lease. In this situation, it could be advisable to find a tenant who can move in right away to cut down on vacant time.

10. How many individuals will you be sharing a home with?


The maximum number of occupants per bedroom in a rental property is regulated by legislation. It’s preferable to find out the truth before they move in because some potential tenants might try to hide this information from you in order to benefit themselves. Any person continuously residing in the flat should be listed on the lease agreement. 


potential tenants- sharing room

11. Are you able to cover the security deposit?


Making sure the tenant has the money to cover the deposit is the final check. While you’re there, you can also see if the potential tenant has any questions for you. 


Given that it’s the first step in renting a house, most tenants shouldn’t have any trouble paying the security deposit. One can know the ways to keep tenants happy. However, if they are unable to afford it, they are most likely unable to afford your estate. As a result, you should move on to the next applicant, who would likely be a better long-term fit for you.




It can take a lot of time and effort to find the ideal renter for your rental property, but it can easily be the difference between a successful investment and a terrible experience. 


An excellent resource in this situation is a property manager who can carry out the screening on your behalf. In order to find you potential tenants for your property and keep you and your property safe, they know just what questions to ask and how to ask them.