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Landlord Background Checks
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Any landlord or property owner would naturally conduct background checks and credit checks in order to assess the renter’s capability to pay.
Below you will find some common questions that a landlord would ask. You will also find some more info on how to conduct your own Landlord background checks in the link given at the end of this article. But before that, let’s look at the questions:
1. Why are you moving in?
Expect this most basic question from a landlord. The landlord wishes to know the reasons for you to move in to his property. Job change, location suitability etc are good reasons. Beware if you have given incorrect answers. That would make the Landlord suspicious of your motives and he may deny you his room for stay.
2. When do you plan to move-in?
The landlord wants to know if his renter is serious about moving-in. However, beware if you say you want to move in tomorrow itself. It might make him suspicious about you, as he may think that you might be a felon or that you may want to escape from someone.
Responsible renters plan a month well in advance, about moving-in into another property. However, if you have a sudden job change or transfer, then it is fine to tell him so. A proof of your job change or transfer is enough to convince him of your truthfulness.
3. What is your monthly income?
This is another question which the landlord would ask. By this question, he/she wishes to assess your credit worthiness. Respond so accordingly. If you have a comfortable income by which you can pay rent, then all the better.
4. Will you provide security deposit and first month rent?
If the landlord asks for this, then he wishes to know if you are serious to move into his property. If you have the funds available for this, then promptly say so, so that his doubts are cleared. It also would mean that he will consider you as credit worthy, and would be interested to rent his property to you.
If however, you are not able to immediately fulfill his demand then negotiate with him regarding this matter. If he is satisfied with your income statements and your credit worthiness, it is possible to convince him to accept security deposit after you move in.
Do know this though, that the more delay you make, the more the landlord would make case against you to evict you from his property.
5. How many people will live in the apartment? Do you have any pets?
A usual question that a landlord may ask. He would want to know as he may have that room made for either two people, or it would just be for one person.
If he has a “No pets” policy, then you may not want to rent his property, as he would not allow your pets to stay with you.
6. Employer and former landlord references please.
Yep! He wants to find out about your employment and previous rent history. If you have had an issue with a previous landlord, then you should be upfront about it before he may ask you a further question about whether you were evicted or not.
Do try to be as honest as possible when it comes to giving references. Avoiding this and making excuses about references would make him suspicious.
7. Have you been evicted?
This is his way of trying to find out about your past behavior or your past credit worthiness.
If you are confident about your credit worthiness, then you should be as truthful as you can. After all, who hasn’t faced some troubles in life?
If however, your eviction was due to your own conduct and behavior then that would be a red flag for the landlord. You may want to stress upon your creditworthiness, and you would want to assure him that such behavior would not be repeated again.
8. Do you have any questions?
As simple as that! You are the renter after all. You want to stay on in his property and you pay for the rent. It would be good for you to inspect his property and find out any legal issues or problems related to provision of utilities such as power, water, gas etc.
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