Top 10 Questions Potential Tenants Are Guaranteed To Be Asked

When finding a tenant for your property it is important to screen any applicants thoroughly before accepting them. A great property manager will have an effective vetting procedure set up to reduce the risk of issues with a tenant further down the line. Issues a great vetting process can avoid include undeclared pets, payment issues, property damage, or even clandestine drug labs.

To avoid this, your property manager will ask the right questions and perform a thorough vet of every applicant. Here are the top 10 most common questions your property manager should have asked every potential tenant.

1. When are you going to move and why are you moving?

It is important to know why a tenant is moving. They could simply be moving due to an increase in income, the desire to relocate, or other great reasons. However, sometimes it could be due to disputes with neighbours or an eviction. Asking is the only way to find out.

The same goes for the time they are looking to move in by. As most rental properties require a month’s notice from the tenant if they want to leave, a tenant who wishes to move in right away may be leaving everything to the last minute. This is a sign that they could be unreliable.

2. How long have you lived at your current residence?

Knowing how long a potential tenant has lived at previous residences could show a lot about how a future tenancy at your property may go. If a tenant has lived at their previous residences for 5 problem-free years you may be able to expect a similar problem-free tenancy. However, if they have lived in 6 different apartments in a 12-month period you could find problems with this tenant in the future.

3. What are your employment details and salary?

A tenant with stable employment and a good salary is a great indicator that they will be able to pay the rent on time. It is generally recommended that the rent be equivalent to or less than 30% of the potential tenant’s income. Over this number and the tenant could be in rental stress and may struggle to keep up with payments. Remember, if there are multiple tenants, add their incomes together.

4. Do you agree to a background check?

A credit or background check is useful at determining a potential tenant’s level of responsibility. If they disagree with allowing a background or credit check, this could be a sign they have something to hide. Before you run a check, ensure you have written consent. You must have written consent before you are legally able to run a check, verbal consent does not count.

5. Do you have references from employers or former landlords?

References are a great way to filter prospective tenants. They allow you to get the information you require from an independent third party. Ask your tenants for references from their employers and previous landlords. These are great references to talk to, allowing you to get an idea on how responsible the potential tenant is. If they are hesitant to hand over references this may be a red flag.

6. Have you ever been evicted from a property?

This question, if answered yes, should always be followed up with a “why?” and “How long ago?”. A yes answer should not immediately annul the application, at least the candidate is being honest. There are many circumstances where a tenant could have been evicted due to no fault of their own, or it could have happened many years prior. If a tenant has a great record in the years since an eviction, then they still may be a model tenant in the future.  

7. Will you have the bond and one month’s rent ready before move-in day?

You should always have the bond and first month’s rent before move-in day. If they cannot get it to you then it may be a sign that they could have difficulties paying the rent on time in the future. A great property manager will require the tenant to provide bond and one month’s rent in order to secure their place in the property in the first place.

8. Who will be living at the property?

You should know who will be living at the property. Whether it will be a single tenant, a couple, a family, or even a group of friends. The property may not be appropriate for children to live in, or you may not wish for your property to be used as a share house. Knowing the type of tenants you could have is important to a harmonious tenancy.

9. Do you own a pet?

It is important to decide whether you will allow pets or not. If you do not want to allow pets, then you can easily cross any tenant with a pet off your list. However, if you do choose to allow pets you will have access to a larger pool of candidates. There will be more cleaning involved between tenancies though.

10. Do you have any questions for us?

Allow the tenant to ask all the questions they need regarding the property. Just like how you are trying to find the perfect tenant, they are trying to find the perfect property. Be open and honest about the property and allow them to determine whether it is the best fit for their lifestyle. Starting the relationship on the best foot from the beginning will lead to a great tenancy.


It is important to vet every prospective tenant so that both you and your tenant will have a harmonious tenancy. The key to a great vetting process is a professional property manager. They will be able to assist you in finding the best tenant and will have a great vetting process. For the best tenants look to Link Living. Give us a call today.