The Residential Tenant Application — what to ask

Nelda Schulte
4 min readMay 18, 2021

Pre-Screening Your Tenants in 5 Easy Steps

Leave a Comment / Landlording, Real Estate Investing / By Nelda Schulte

Pre-screening your tenants is the best method of ensuring occupants meet your minimum requirements.

Why Pre-Screen Tenants

Let’s say you have advertised your bachelor suite condominium. You check with your condo bylaws and Minimum Housing Standards Act and discover only one person is allowed to live in your suite, and no pets are permitted in the unit.

Your advertising is going well, and you receive a text from an interested potential tenant. You set up a showing and drive out to meet them. During the showing, the applicant says he is looking for a cheap condo where five of his taxi drivers can live together. They will be sleeping in shifts, and one of them has two birds, another has a cat.

You’ve just wasted 90 minutes of your time and a tank of gas.

Setting minimum tenant pre-screening criteria and pre-screening your tenants will save you time and effort and reduce your frustration.

Pre-screening tenants in 5 easy steps

As a landlord, you have enough on your plate without spending extra time on tenants who don’t qualify. Much of your workload can be reduced and streamlined by pre-screening your tenants in 5 easy steps.

Step 1. Compose your pre-qualifying tenant screening questions.

Do this ahead of time and have them handy. Here are my top 6.

  • How many pets do you have? What breed, weight, age?
  • How many people will be living in the property?
  • What date do you want to move in?
  • What length of a lease are you looking seeking? Example: 6 months, 12 months, 2 years etc.
  • Do you mind telling me why you are moving from your current home?
  • If you see the property and decide to move forward with an application, can you verify your income.

Step 2. Arrange a phone call.

Nelda Schulte

Nelda Schulte is a freelance writer based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who specializes in real estate.