When you’re signing a new tenant, getting a reference from a previous landlord is an excellent opportunity to learn more about who the person is, and how well they’ll look after your property.

While not all tenants will have rented a property before, if you’ve been given a previous landlord as a reference, you may be wondering what questions you should ask them.

In this article, we’ll share some of the key questions you should ask former landlords during your tenant reference checks.

1. How Long Did They Live in the Property?

Gauging how long a tenant lived somewhere previously is a good way of telling whether they’ll stay in your property long-term. If it was a short stay, but the tenant tells you they want a long-term let, you can follow up to see what happened before.

When asking this question to current landlords, you can also ask why the tenant is leaving. Your tenant should have already given you their reason, so this will help you see if there are any discrepancies in the story.

2. How Much Was the Rent?

A financial check should be carried out during tenant referencing to ensure the tenant can afford the rent.

It’s a good idea to ask how much rent the tenant was paying in their last rental. If there’s a significant rent increase but the tenant’s income hasn’t changed, you may want to ask more questions about affordability.

3. Were Payments Made on Time?

As well as rent payments, make sure you ask about whether utility bills were paid on time, too.

Always dig into the further details. Life happens, and sometimes tenants struggle with rent, but that doesn’t always make them a bad tenant. See what the former landlord has to say about the situation and decide from there.

4. How Well Did They Look After the Property?

It is always a good idea to ask how well a tenant looked after the property and what condition they left it in.

Just remember that the answer to this question can be subjective. Some landlords are very strict, so always ask specifically what the issues were if any are raised.

5. Who Was Listed on the Tenancy Agreement?

This question is great to ask so you can keep the information in your back pocket for the future. If tenants have lived together before, they may live together in the future.

If you know who was on the previous tenancy agreement, you can establish if there were any issues with the relationship. If your tenant asks if this person can be added to the tenancy in the future, you can make a more informed decision.

Get Expert Advice

At Eden May, we are your local property experts in Taunton. If you need expert letting agent services to help market your property and complete tenant referencing checks, our friendly team can help.

Give us a call today on 01823 478575 or browse our letting agent services at [personalise with="website"].