As a beginning landlord, interviewing tenants to fill your new units should be one of your first priorities. While it may seem time consuming, difficult, and possibly even unnecessary, you definitely do not want to skip it. A quick interview will tell you what the tenant is like, allow you to get the information you need, and allow you to ask the tenant to sign your paperwork. You’ll also be able to get a signed consent form for you to run a background check, which is also important. Here are a few tips from local Issaquah Property Management Company Sterling Johnston & Associates.

What You Need

When you go to the interview, you will need a couple of things to get started. First off, you should have a professional looking office. This will solidify you as a professional in the tenants mind and get you off on the right foot. In addition, you will need:

Paperwork – you need a tenant contract, your terms of service, you may want a lawyer or a professional property manager to draw it up for you.

A List of Questions

Copies of any information such as rules and regulations or etc. that you want made available to the tenant.

What to Ask the Tenant To Bring

The tenant will have to bring a great deal of information to the interview if you want to proceed with a background check and checkups after the interview is over.


  • References and contact information from employer and previous landlord
  • Salary statement
  • Personal information for a background check
  • Social Security Number for a Credit Check
  • Contact details


Questions to Ask the Tenant

Depending on the tenant in question, you will want to ask them a few questions regarding their current status, why they’re moving, and other similar questions.


  • Do you have pets?
  • Why are you moving?
  • Have you ever been evicted?
  • How many places have you lived
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have a job and if so what is your current salary?


How long have you had your current job and can you provide proof?

    • Do you have any questions?

These questions are important because they allow you to narrow down your options. For example, if you have a no pets policy then you can immediately rule out anyone who answers yes to the first question. You can also decline tenants who smoke should you wish. Most of the information you are asking is designed to allow you to narrow down your options and choose the best tenant.

If all of this sounds confusing to you, or you think you don’t have the time to interview tenants correctly then don’t worry, many landlords don’t. The solution is to hire a professional Issaquah property management company to help you out. They will handle all of the details like marketing and screening tenants so that you can get back to your property, or investing in new ventures rather than spending all of your time with tenants and maintenance. Want to know more? Give us a call.