Screening questions landlords employers and friends

As a property owner or landlord, the screening process for selecting tenants should never be underestimated.

Taking the time to assess a prospective tenant’s references thoroughly is crucial and can save you from many headaches down the line. If you’ve listed your property for rent on and have shortlisted potential tenants, it’s essential to be proactive and reach out to their former landlords and employers.

To help you make informed decisions, here are eight invaluable reference questions to consider asking:

Screening questions for a tenant’s current/past landlord:

  1. Who were the occupants listed on the lease?
  2. How long was their tenancy?
  3. Did the tenant consistently pay the rent on time?
  4. Did the tenant maintain the property well? Were there any significant damages or maintenance issues?
  5. Did the tenant have any pets?
  6. Did you receive any complaints from other tenants or neighbours?
  7. Why does the tenant want to leave?
  8. Would you rent to this tenant again? Why or why not?

Screening questions for a tenant’s employer:

  1. Can you confirm this person is/was employed at your company?
  2. Do they come to work on time?
  3. How do you enjoy working with the applicant?
  4. What are the average hours they work?
  5. What are the terms of their employment? Are they employed full-time or on a contract?
  6. What is/was their position within the company?
  7. Have you ever needed to reprimand this person at work?
  8. Would you employ this person again? Why or why not?

In some cases, applicants may provide personal or character references to support their rental application. While some landlords may be sceptical of these references due to potential bias, they can provide valuable insights into the applicant’s lifestyle and character. Consider asking the following questions to a personal referee:

Screening questions for a tenant’s personal reference:

  1. How do you know the applicant?
  2. How long have you known them?
  3. How do they spend their spare time?
  4. Have you been to the renter’s home before? How would you describe it?
  5. Do they smoke?
  6. Do they have pets?
  7. Can you describe their overall character?
  8. Do you know their current relationship/marital status?

Look for these five red flags that may indicate problematic tenants. By investing time in conducting detailed reference checks with an applicant’s referees, you’ll be better equipped to identify any potential red flags. This small investment of time can significantly mitigate future headaches.

To streamline the screening process even further, consider using RentCheck, a powerful tool offered by RentCheck allows you to screen potential renters, verifying crucial information such as their tenancy database history, identity, court records, rental payment defaults, and bankruptcy status.

Remember, thorough tenant screening is essential in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free rental experience. Don’t overlook its significance; take proactive measures to protect your property investment. is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.