How to Vet Tenants with Pre-Viewing Questions

Originally published at: How to Vet Tenants with Pre-Viewing Questions | OpenRent Landlord Hub

We have put together a list of pre-viewing questions you can ask prospective tenants to make sure they’re a good match for your property. Finding reliable and responsible tenants is one of the most important steps in the process of renting out your property. That’s why using pre-viewing questions is a savvy way to attract…

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I always advertise that an applcant must be in work. No matter how many questions you ask you will always get the chancers who when you ask where do you work ? they dont reply, so no viewing for them! On 4 properties with about 120 enquiries about 75% had ignored the fact I only want people in work

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Hi Colin. Last advert we placed was the first time that we used Open Rent’s auto screening. We only got a third of the number of enquiries compared with previous times but the quality was so much better. The questions they ask put off most of the time wasters. They also ask how much the tenants’ nett monthly income is and we further reduced the number of wasted viewings because we ruled out tenant’s with income under 3 times the rent. The screening is free and I recommend it 100%


I think it’s more important now to ask their financial circumstances now we cannot charge them for their credit referencing. I always state in the ad that they cannot have any adverse credit history. And I always ask if they have any CCJs etc. and state that if they do they won’t pass the credit check and no point applying. I don’t want to have to keep paying for unnecessary checks!! It’s amazing how some still ask questions like “I know it says no pets but…” or “I know it says no bad credit but would you still consider even though …” or “I know it says no house share but it’s only me and my five mates …” As per Colins comment we also state that applicants must be on 3x the annual rent and that really filters them out too. One tenant applied for one of ours stating that she earned £820 a month for a rental of £750 per month - clearly either wouldn’t be on her own or was in receipt of benefits! Do they really think landlords are that daft??


We have been using the tenancy screening function for sometime now (with our own questions, something similar). If they do not reply, we assume that they are time wasters! There are lot of time wasters (including Agents! when we say in our advert, no agent, they still send messages, just can not get rid of them!).


It stated “no pets” in my advert, the contract states “no pets” without consultation with me, yet the first thing that confronted me when I had to go in after a week, was a litter tray. When I queried it and the cat sitting there, it was laughingly brushed off by the tenant! What can I do rather than evict them?

I have used the Rent Now function before but never noticed the facility to ask prescreening questions. Where is it to be found please.

I bit my tongue and said nothing when I discovered a cat in situ 4 years ago. We have been very lucky as it has actually turned out to be a lovely cat which is well-behaved and clean - in fact you would not know it lived there aparrt from the food and water bowl.

IF they are good tenants who pay the rent on time, look a good long term tenant and the cat is not destroying the property, is it worth the hassle of getting them out and having a month or two with no rent coming in?

I do sympathise because it is very galling but sometimes it is better to be pragmatic and keep the cash coming in…

Mind you, having said that, I would religiously inspect every 3-4 months to ensure that they are not also doing other things which you said “No” too as well because once they have breached a term or condition, it just goes on getting easier to ignore the Contract xxx


And the more they breach the contract the stronger the case to evict is, but only if you know what their doing. Most insurance companies insist of inspections at least every 6 months, I would suggest ever 3-4 months like you Clive.

This is great - a very nice feature - thank you!

I also ask if the prospect has any previous history of bad credit. I had 2 applicants for a property, the first one vanished when I asked them this question - presumably they had some issues.

The second applicant told me not to bother credit checking them as they admitted they had a history of bad credit and couldn’t provide proof of income.

For the sake of asking a single question, I eliminated what were probably two potentially problematic tenants.


Openrent have forcibly switched their standard screening option on as I’ve received over 30 enquiries. I’d prefer for it to continue as my own auto-reply only.

Is there a way to switch the OR option off?

If not, is it advisable, then, to switch off my own auto-reply? As I don’t want potential tenants getting annoyed with having to jump through so many hoops, some of which are questions they’d be answering twice, i.e. smoking.

It’s pretty poor that OR make it compulsory to have this option switched on after 30 enquiries!

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4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Advice needed - tenant has CCJ but willing to pay upfront