I am renting out an apartment and need to check references. What are some questions to ask the references?
I want to make sure that I ask good questions when I call the potential renters references. This is in the state of New Hampshire, so if anyone knows of some questions that should or shouldn't be asked that would be helpful. Thanks.8 years ago - 5 answers
You can ask the previous landlord about their character, housekeeping, rent history, would they rent to them again? Be careful about the "Fair Housing Laws". There are certain questions that you cannot ask such as race, religion, sex, disability, number of children (this is where the applications comes in handy, because you'll see the age of everyone). Check with your local and state government regarding the Fair Housing Act. I have the applicant to complete an application in which I do a credit check, criminal background, as well as previous evictions, which is public record. You can't rely on the previous landlord. What if it's a bad tenant? They'll say anything just to get rid of them. So do a background check (notice I said background, not credit check). You can find a service in your area that will do it for you. Pass the charge on to the applicant as a nonrefundable background check fee. When you collect the fee, tell the applicant exactly what it's for. Advise them them that you will be checking credit, criminal, and evictions. This way, they won't waste their money if something comes up on their criminal and previous rental history (evictions). Previous evictions and felons are an automatic rejection for me. If they didn't treat their previous landlord fair, why would they be different towards you?
Nothing is full proof, but you have the right to know what you're getting into when you rent out your unit.
Source(s):8 years ago
More important than references is a credit report. References will tend to give glowing reviews. (Would you give a reference that wouldn't?)
Require a credit report, (you can charge the fee to them), ask for the names and addresses of any landlords they have had in the past 5 years. Make sure there are no gaps in the dates, if there are...run regardless of there excuses. Remember renting is easy...evicting is expensive and time consuming.
First tell the renters you need them to get a background check. This can be obtained at your local police department. Let the renter pay the cost, this will eliminate a lot of people. Also you can charge an application fee, this will eliminate a few more folks.
Ask the references if they would let the renter live in their home. Answers will vary but you should be able to know who is lying.
Ask the reference if they know if the renters have children and exactly how many kids live with them.
.... are the renters dependable
.... are they mature
.... do they have a good personality
.... could you rely on them in a difficult situation
some times the land lords might be unhappy that someone vacated the their place and they have to look for a new renter now. It is also possible that the land lord/apartment manager was a difficult person. When asking for references, you should ask the rental history. (if you are not sure you trust the person - ask for rental reciepts). Look up the numbers from the yellow pages. It is possible that the renter gives you a name and phone number of a friend. You should ask the previous landlords the person paid the rent regularly. did they maintain the house. Were they good neighbors(not creating problems to neighbors).
DO A CREDIT CHECK.
Also see how long the person has been staying in each place for the past 5-8 years and why they are moving.
As someone already mentioned better to be anal about this than worry about evicting someone.
#1 ASK THE REFERENCE EVERYTHING YOU ASKED THE APPLICANT TO MAKE SURE THEIR ANSWERS MATCH.- HOW LONG HAVE THEY KNOW EACH OTHER ETC.
#2 IF IT'S A GOOD REFERAL- ASK WHY AND DOES THIS PERSON HAVE ANY FAULTS
#3 ASK WHY THEY THINK THE APPLICANT WOULD USE THEM AS A REFERAL- ANSWERS LIKE WE'VE BEEN FRIENDS FOR 20 YRS. OR THIS IS MY BOYFRIEND- YOU PRETTY MUCH KNOW THE PERSON WOULD LIE NO MATTER WHAT
I THINK YOU SHOULD VERIFY EMPLOYMENT AND WITHIN THAT DISCUSSION ASK SOME QUESTIONS AS IF YOU WERE SPEAKING TO A REFERENCED PERSON- ASK DOES THE PERSON COME TO WORK ON TIME, ARE THEY A TEAM PLAYER, DO THEY CONTRIBUTE TO OFFICE AFFAIRS.?? IT KIND OF GIVES A FEEL TO SEE IF THE PERSON IS PUNCTUAL, SOCIAL, A GOOD COMMUNICATOR ETC
ALWAYS RUN POLICE RECORDS & CREDIT REPORTS AND VERIFY EMPLOYMENT
Source(s)by shalirha - 8 years ago