Question One: Why are you moving?
At first, it may seem like this is none of the landlords business. However, your landlord may ask a question like this because she is trolling for red flags. An answer like, “because I’m getting evicted” or “I lost my security deposit” is not going to impress your new landlord. Neither is going on at length about what a jerk your old landlord is.
Question Two: When do you plan on moving in?
The wrong answer here is “I need the apartment tonight or I’m going to be sleeping in the park.” Good tenants do things like plan in advance. On the other hand, you can take this too far. Unless you’re a student doing a campus visit, you don’t need to take up the landlord’s valuable time showing you apartment that you won’t be moving into for another nine months.
Question Three: What is your monthly income?
Many landlords want you to make three times the rent or more. That’s the way it is at Decker Properties. So I know the penthouse has a nice view, but if it’s out of reach financially, don’t waste your time and the landlord’s. Also keep in mind that you probably need to have two months of rent at your disposal – the first month rent and a security deposit equal to an additional month’s rent. Asking your prospective landlord for a payment plan for the first month rent or security deposit is likely to get you rejected.
Question Four: Can I get the name and number for your former landlords and employers?
Be prepared to furnish the landlord with these names and numbers. Any equivocation here and the landlord is going to think that you’re trying to cover something up. It’s OK, if you’re just moving out of your folks place but be forewarned – if the landlord runs a credit report, that report is going to disclose information beyond just your payment habits. It will also include the various addresses you have lived going back several years. The report will also disclose current and past employers.
Question Five: Will you submit a rental application and consent to a credit and background check?
You just can’t blink on this one. Good tenants aren’t afraid to share this kind of information and are used to doing it. If you hesitate at all, the landlord is again going to think that you have something to hide.
A further word about credit reports. A landlord might be willing to forgive an unpaid medical bill. After all, who can predict such calamities? However, the arrival of a credit card bill, a phone bill or a utility bill is not supposed to be a calamity. Or if it is, it’s one that you clearly caused. When payments aren’t made on agreements that you entered into voluntarily, that’s a red flag. Remember what your mother told you about saving for a rainy day? Really, that even applies to the medical bill, but there can be no excuse for failing to pay predictable obligations like utility bills, credit cards and car payments.
Bonus Question: How many people will be living in the apartment?
This question becomes even more relevant if your apartment shopping with a friend that’s not going to be living with you. Better make that clear to the landlord to avoid confusion.
Many landlords have occupancy limits. Two people per bedroom is a common limit. So right size your sites before you start looking.
Just one more question: What beautiful apartment can Decker Properties find for you? Call today at (262) 785-0840 to find out more.