When you’re screening applicants, there are certain questions to ask potential tenants and other areas that you should avoid completely. Fair housing laws are in place to protect people who fall into certain classes, and if you discriminate against people by asking inappropriate questions, you can find yourself in legal trouble. Today, we’re sharing five specific things you can ask a tenant. You should ask these questions of anyone who is applying to live in your property.
Questions to Ask Potential Tenants
Some of the questions you should ask, either on the application or in person include:
- What is your move in date? This will let you know if the property will be available in time for a specific tenant.
- Do you have pets? You’ll need to discuss your pet policy so tenants with animals know what to expect.
- Who is going to live in the property? All adults will need to fill out an application and be screened, and children will need to be listed on the lease.
- Will you be running a business out of the home?
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy or been evicted? These things will show up in the credit and background checks that you run during your screening process.
Things Not to Ask When Screening
You are not allowed to ask what their family status or marital status is, whether they have any health issues, what nationality they are, or anything that can be considered discrimination. Landlords often get into trouble without meaning to, so make sure you’re careful about what you’re discussing. There are many other questions you can and cannot ask. If you’re not sure where the legal line is, consult with a professional property manager to discuss those issues before taking applications and conducting a screening process.
If you have any questions about how to handle the process of tenant applications, please contact us at Action 1 Properties. There is a lot more we can tell you about Pleasanton property management, and we’d love the opportunity to talk about your needs.