21 LEGAL QUESTIONS Landlords MUST Ask Tenants BEFORE Renting to Them

21 LEGAL QUESTIONS Landlords MUST Ask Tenants BEFORE Renting to Them


Are you a landlord looking for a tenant?

Make sure you ask these 21 questions first! They'll help you screen tenants and make sure you're getting the best possible candidates.

  1. How long have you lived in your current home?
  2. Why did you decide to leave?
  3. What is your desired move-in date?
  4. How many people will be living in the unit?
  5. How many adults will be contributing to the rent?
  6. What is your combined monthly income?
  7. Does anyone in your household smoke cigarettes or marijuana?
  8. Do you have any pets? If so, please describe them
  9. Will you require parking spaces? If so, how many?
  10. Does anyone in your household play a musical instrument and will be practicing in the unit?
  11. Does anyone in your household work a third shift or job with odd hours?
  12. Do you anticipate having any long-term guests or additions to the household?
  13. Are you willing to sign a one-year or longer lease?
  14. Do you have money set aside for the security deposit and the first month’s rent?
  15. Do you anticipate anything in the near future affecting your ability to pay rent?
  16. Can you provide references from employers and previous landlords?
  17. Have you ever had to break a lease? If so, why?
  18. Have you ever had to file for bankruptcy?
  19. Have you ever been evicted? If so, why?
  20. Do you have any questions for me about the property or rental application process?
  21. Is there anything else I should know about you and your living situation?

While this list of questions to ask a potential tenant is quite extensive, there are many other details regarding a new household that aren't mentioned here. Now is the time to allow the tenant to tell you about any additional vital facts about them, such as severe allergies that the other residents should be aware of, or a child with autism who will require particular areas of the unit to be adjusted to make them feel more comfortable.

Questions You Shouldn't Ask Potential Tenants

Landlords are not permitted by the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to ask prospective tenants a series of questions. These are things that, by law, can't be taken into account when deciding whether to rent to someone or not. Because of this, they don't need to be taken into account during the application process.

Turbotenant, a property management application, is the simplest and most cost-effective way for me to market rental listings, screen tenants, generate lease agreements, and collect rent online.

Disclaimer: I do not offer legal counsel. This content has been provided solely for educational purposes. All users are urged to verify all applicable local, state, and federal laws and to seek legal assistance if they have any issues.


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