What Should I Ask Previous Landlords?

by Chris on June 17, 2013

Just as a credit report can show whether a rental applicant is financially┬áresponsible, a previous landlord reference will detail a tenant’s rental history.

tenant screeningIf it’s been a while since you obtained a landlord-to-landlord reference, it’s helpful to refresh your memory on what information you need to glean before you place the call.

An easy way to start the conversation is to confirm some of the facts from the rental application, including:

The address of the previous residence, and

The dates the applicant rented.

From there, ask if the tenant fits the criteria of an ideal tenant:

1. Did the tenant pay rent on time?

2. Did the tenant take care of the property?

3. Did the tenant cause any disturbances?

Before ending the call, determine whether this landlord has any reason to be concerned about the tenant. For instance, you may ask, “Would you be comfortable renting to this tenant again?” or, “Do you know any reason I should avoid renting to this tenant?”

Landlord Tip: Always take steps to confirm that the person you are speaking with is the previous landlord, and not a friend posing as a landlord.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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