Q:

What questions should landlords ask before renting?

A:

Landlords wishing to protect their investment should ask potential tenants questions regarding the tenants' monthly income, the number of people expected to live in the home or apartment and if they have ever been evicted from a home or apartment, according to Erin Eberlin, Landlords & Property Investments Expert on About.com. Understanding past problems and anticipating future problems can help a landlord minimize risk associated with signing a contract with a new tenant.

By asking potential tenants why they plan on moving, a landlord can learn of potential issues that might make him less likely to rent his home or apartment to those tenants. A potential tenant who says he is changing jobs, for example, might be viewed as a lower-risk tenant than one who says he was evicted from his prior residence.

Asking a potential tenant if he is prepared to pay the security deposit and first month's rent before moving in can help a landlord determine if the potential tenant is a prime candidate with whom he actually can enter into an agreement.

Asking how many people are expected to live in an apartment or home helps a landlord determine if there is ample space for those people in the home. If there are twice as many people as there are bedrooms in the home or apartment, this may indicate a higher potential for wear and tear.

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