Top 10 Questions to Ask Tenants before Renting Out Your Home

Top 10 Questions to Ask Tenants before Renting Out Your Home

Nobody wants to end up with “bad tenants” who also refuse to move out should you reach the “last straw” stage. And nobody should have to go through this time-consuming and costly experience either.

First impressions tend to be misleading – some prospective tenants are quite good at masking their intentions and put up their best act just to move into your home. A few simple questions should tell you if the prospects you’re screening will take good care of your home and pay rent on time – minor misunderstandings or miscommunication can be the backdrop of major problems down the road.

Ask tenants these questions to make up your mind before handing the keys over.

1. Why Do You Wish to Move?

A good opening question to break the ice – this can reveal a lot about the prospective tenant, so listen intently. The reasons given should be very direct and legitimate; for example, wanting a bigger space or changing jobs.

Naturally, if they got evicted or got into a heated argument with their landlord or even a neighbor which forced them to move out, they may not reveal it all. It’s always a good idea to double-check the reasons given with their previous landlord.

Things might go differently if you’re tenant is a newbie, someone who’s renting for the first time. In that case, you can ask your agent as well to do a background check just to make sure he/she is financially sound in order to qualify as a tenant for Dubai rental property.

2. When Will You Be Moving?

You need to know this, as the sooner you rent out your home the sooner you’ll have income flowing in.

However, if it appears the tenant is in a hurry to move in, you need to ask him/her up front so as to what’s compelling them to move at a moment’s notice. They might have a genuine reason for this, you never know, so it’s important to ask why. But do ask, you have every right to know, and your prospect should not have any issues at all revealing the reason(s).

3. How Many People Are There?

Just because it’s one person or a couple who comes to check out your home does not mean they’ll be the only ones living there. They may have a larger family living with them, so you must ask.

As a basic rule, two people per bedroom sounds like a reasonable number; you don’t want too many heads living under one roof as it may lead to unnecessary wear and tear. Also, from a legal standpoint, certain insurance conditions might limit the number of people who can rent your property at a time, so check with that as well.

4. How Much Do You Make Monthly/Annually?

This question is one that many shy away from in a conversation, and rightly so; after all, money-related questions make people uncomfortable and should generally be avoided. However, on the subject of signing agreements for Dubai rental property, this is an important question to ask, and your tenant should be receptive.

You need to know for sure that they will be making monthly rent payments without issues. A bank statement, for example, confirms if they can afford to live on your property. A reference will confirm all associated details. You might also call your tenant’s employer directly to verify these details.

Speaking of which, ask their employer if they are on probation, on contract, or hired permanently. Realistically speaking, you want someone who has a steady job. Though there’s no reason to be concerned if you don’t come across too many tenants having a permanent job – many firms don’t offer this type of employment and prefer renewable contracts instead.

5. How Long Will You Be Staying?

It is quite common to sign a 6 or 12-month lease. Anything less and it should signal a red flag. You certainly don’t want to go through the trouble of waiting to find another tenant or have the paperwork processed all over again just after a few months.

Tenants should be completely up front about how long they want to stay; 6 to 12 months is a good start.

6. Can I See Some References?

Any conversations you’ve had with tenants should be backed up with references. Why? Basic background checks are important to verify that tenants are who they say they are. If they have reservations to the following references, you should walk away, plain and simple:

  • A valid driver’s license or passport.
  • Work references from current employer to verify salary and employment status.
  • References from a former landlord; the current landlord may not open up completely about their experience with the tenant as they might want to get him/her off their hands quickly or simply concerned with getting rent. Your designated Dubai agent can help with this.
  • Utility bills to confirm previous address.
  • A bank statement to check the tenant’s ability to pay monthly rent.

7. Got Any Pets? Do You Smoke or Drink?

This seems like a question landlords should be asking without a second thought, yet many don’t. This is up to you entirely: a ‘no pet’ or ‘no smoking’ policy means you’ll have to scratch them off the list entirely. If you’re okay with the tenant occasionally having a drink or two or inviting people over for drinks, then go ahead and sign the lease. Though look for signs of alcoholism during the screening process; someone who has a drinking problem may not take the best care of your place.

And remember, if you’re also okay with pets, find out what kind of pet they have. Depending on your place, you might allow it or not, the decision is yours.

8. What is Your Typical Routine Like?

Inquiring about the tenant’s lifestyle is important. Now this is not to say that you’re going to blurt out “So, do you party a lot?”

Just slip into the conversation questions about their sleep/wake routine, what time they work, what they enjoy doing on weekends etc. Some of them might like to invite large crowds over the weekend or play musical instruments, so you need to ask these things in advance to better determine if you’re comfortable with renting your place to them.

9. Are You Okay with Moving in “As-is” or Would You Like Certain Improvements?

You do not want to land in a situation where the tenant is suddenly demanding how something is not up to his/her standards, and that it should be repaired or changed immediately.

These things need to be asked up front as most tenants may not feel very vocal about it initially. Ask them directly if they’re happy with how your home is at the moment. If they make any requests, you can always consider and sign or deny the lease based on your own budget or decision.

10. Do You Have Any Questions or Concerns at All?

Always ask this! Give the tenant time to think carefully and get back to you.

This simple question can prevent many unpleasant scenarios once the lease is signed – after all, you do not want to sign a lease where there’s even the slightest hint of a tenant not being happy with something and terminating the lease as a result. Just ask and hear their responses with an open mind.

Behind every successful Dubai lease agreement is a network of trustworthy agents who go the distance to ensure every detail is worked out seamlessly without any inconvenience to the landlord or tenant.

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