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Questions to ask tenants before they move into your property

9 Oct 13

Choosing the right tenants for a property can be risky business. Before you hand over the keys, make sure you've asked any potential occupants the following questions.

Why are you moving from your current property?

Most property management courses will encourage you to ask tenants this question.

You can slip it into small talk, but make sure you pay close attention to the response. If the tenants have been evicted or mention bad relationships with their landlord or neighbours, it might pay to do a bit more digging as they may end up causing problems for you.

Good reasons for moving include relocating, looking for more space, looking for a change or wanting to upgrade. You can always ask for references from previous landlords if you have any doubts.

What is your employment situation?

You might want to ask tenants what their line of work is, whether it is full time or part time and how long they have been in their role.

Job stability is important as it suggests a tenant's ability to pay rent in the long-term. If occupants are only employed part-time or are in contract roles, issues could arise in the future if the work finishes and they are unable to continue making payments.

When would you move in?

This question can be a good gauge of how well someone plans. If they answer "immediately" or "as soon as possible", without following it up with an explanation as to why, it might suggest they are not good planners. This could affect you further down the track if they struggle to plan their finances and can't make payments on time.

It's also a great way to eliminate candidates based on your own timeframes. If they need a place immediately but your property won't be available for a month, it might not be a good match.

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