Landlords: What You Can and Can’t Ask Your Tenants

Choosing a tenant is always a difficult task. As an owner, you need to quickly assess the level of trust you have for the future occupant of your home. To reassure yourself, the law allows you to request a certain amount of information, in order to get to know the candidate better. This article gives an overview of the questions you can ask, and the ones you can’t.

A landlord has the right to ask certain questions

A landlord is completely within their rights when attempting to assess the risk of dealing with unpaid rent, provided they only ask the permitted questions which do not infringe on the future tenant’s privacy. For example, you’re not breaking any laws by wanting to know the candidate’s income and the name of their employer. It’s like asking how many people will be living in the accommodation, whether they smoke, or if they have any animals. These questions allow you to anticipate any potential damage to your home. It is also possible to require references and their contact information.

On the other hand, other questions should be avoided

You must be careful to not infringe on the tenants’ rights and freedom. Do not ask them if they plan on having children, and do not demand any details on their ethnic origins, religious preference or sexual orientation. This information is private, and does not concern the landlord in any way. Similarly, you should not require the tenant to provide their social security number, or to know whether they are divorced.

To successfully build a trustworthy relationship from the start, and to avoid feeling embarrassed, only ask the acceptable questions. If these are asked in the right way, it will only strengthen the relationship you have with your tenant.

Author: Roomlala