30 Questions Every Landlord Should Ask Applicants Before They Sign A Lease


As a responsible landlord, ensuring that you find the right tenant for your rental property is of utmost importance. By asking the right questions during the tenant application process, you can gather essential information about prospective renters and make informed decisions to protect your investment and maintain a harmonious rental environment.

To help you with this crucial task, we have compiled a comprehensive list of 30 questions every landlord should ask applicants before signing a lease. By incorporating these questions into your screening process, you can identify trustworthy, reliable tenants who are more likely to respect your property and fulfill their lease obligations.

A. The Basics

  1. What is your full name?
  2. What is your current address?
  3. Why are you moving?
  4. When do you plan to move in?
  5. How many people will be living in the rental unit?
  6. Do you have any pets? If yes, please provide details.

B. Renting History, Lifestyle

  1. Have you ever been evicted from a rental property?
  2. Can you provide references from previous landlords?
  3. What is your monthly income and source of income?
  4. Can you provide proof of employment or income, such as pay stubs or bank statements?
  5. Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
  6. Do you have any criminal history that might show up on a background check?
  7. Have you or anyone in your household ever been involved in a lawsuit related to a rental property?
  8. Are you a smoker?
  9. Do you have a history of late rent payments?

C. Lease Requirements, Rules, Terms

  1. Will you be able to pay the security deposit and first month’s rent upfront?
  2. How long do you anticipate staying in the rental unit?
  3. Have you read and understood the lease terms and rules of the property?
  4. Are you willing to abide by the rules and regulations of the property, including those related to noise, parking, and pets (if allowed)?
  5. Do you have renters’ insurance or are you willing to get it before moving in?
  6. How would you describe your lifestyle? (Quiet, social, etc.)
  7. Do you have any specific requirements or requests regarding the rental unit?
  8. Will you allow the landlord to conduct regular inspections of the property?
  9. How will you handle maintenance and repair issues that may arise during your tenancy?

D. Communications, Other

  1. Have you ever been involved in any disputes with neighbors or landlords?
  2. Are you willing to provide a reasonable notice period before moving out?
  3. How do you prefer to communicate with the landlord (email, phone, etc.)?
  4. Can you provide emergency contact information?
  5. Are you aware of any reasons why you might not be able to fulfill the lease agreement’s obligations?
  6. Is there anything else you would like the landlord to know about you as an applicant?


Choosing the right tenant is a pivotal step in successful property management. By asking these 30 questions, you’ll gain valuable insights into the prospective tenant’s background, financial stability, and suitability for your rental property. Remember to treat all applicants fairly and consistently to adhere to fair housing laws.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice or consult with a property management professional if needed. Armed with this information, you can confidently make the best decision for your rental property, ensuring a positive and mutually beneficial tenancy for both you and your future tenant. Happy leasing from the team at Rentfaster!


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