Creative Ways to Weed Out Bad Tenants

We’ve talked a lot over the years about how to weed out bad tenants, here’s a slightly more creative process that some landlords might enjoy.

If you enjoy games and are good at silence then this might be a fun way to go through a fairly stressful and laborious process.

When you meet prospective tenants at an open home, make sure to ask some questions. This is especially important when things look great on paper, but something feels little ‘off’. These techniques might get an applicant to open up and tell you things that they had no intention of saying.

Silence:
Employed by therapists and interrogators alike, silence is a great way to get people talking. This is because people tend to become very uncomfortable when people are silent. So once you have asked a question, stay silent, no matter how much you want to jump in. If the prospective tenant is not forthcoming with an answer, don’t try and fill the gaps. Then, once they offer an answer, wait a few more seconds –  they may tell you something they didn’t intend to.

Open Ended Questions:
It’s impossible to answer with a Yes or No answer to questions that start with: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

If your prospective tenant does answer Yes or No, then you know they either aren’t listening, they are hiding something or a boost to their IQ is in order.

Some ideas:

  • What was something you DID like about your last landlord?
  • What kind of electronics do you own? (Do they have a huge stereo system (!!) or do they have iPads?)
  • When was the last time you had dinner with your previous neighbours?
  • When did you decide to move?
  • Why did you decide to move from the property before the most recent one?
  • Who has been your favourite landlord and why?
  • What is the longest that you have managed to keep a plant alive?
Interviewing prospective tenants doesn’t have to be painful, you can make it fun if you want to.

What has been the best question that you have asked prospective tenants?
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