Guide to Screening Tenants for Your Rental Properties in Columbus Ohio

Finding tenants for commercial rental properties in Columbus Ohio isn’t as simple as finding a business to occupy the space and collecting rent checks; there’s an important and potentially lengthy screening process you should undergo before allowing a business to move into your coveted space.

Be Prepared to Ask Questions, Then Meet

Anyone could talk a good game, but being prepared to ask detailed and open-ended questions of the prospective tenant for your rental properties in Columbus Ohio means you’ll be better equipped to choose a quality candidate. The first set of questions should be conducted in an interview via phone, followed by an in-person meeting. The phone interview should enable you to get the basic information:
  1. Obtain their full name, date of birth, and personal contact information.
  2. Find out why they want to move in, and when.
  3. Ask how long they plan on renting from you at the specific location in question.
  4. Request prior landlord references and personal references.
If you’re comfortable to meet based on the responses to the questions above, follow-up with an in-person interview. While you will be asking additional questions – mostly follow-ups to the questions asked over the phone, you should be able to get a feel of who he or she is, based on appearance, non-verbal communication cues, and overall presentation. This is not entirely a “judging-a-book-by-its-cover” situation, but you’ll need to make a decision; what you see from the prospective tenant of one of your Columbus Ohio rental properties will help you make that decision. A sloppy look or a vehicle in poor condition might give you the impression that your space won’t be treated very well; someone who doesn’t come off as respectful or courteous may cause problems after they’re already occupying your space.

When You Meet, Have Them Fill Out an Application

This step seems just as obvious as conducting an interview, but is very important and will provide you with information vital to making your decision on the ultimate tenant for your Columbus Ohio rental property. The application will provide the information necessary to complete a thorough background check, such as their social security number, along with prior landlord contact information, and a signature allowing for a release of information (which lets you conduct the background search).

The All-Important References: Contact Them and Ask Questions

Someone could be a great salesperson when they’re talking about themselves; however, you could often get a much clearer image of whom someone is when speaking with others that know the person you’ve interviewed. From the first step in the screening process, we’ve made mention of references; and after you’ve had your first two interviews and received the application, it’ll be time to make use of them. The prospective tenant’s personal contacts were probably meticulously selected to make him or her look like the world’s greatest living human being, so you’ll have to do a good job of asking questions in a way that will elicit an accurate answer, not the fluffed-up answer. When calling the landlord references, the line of questions asked should be more direct – and since the responses are coming from another landlord, this should give you an idea as to how you will be treated by the prospective tenant of your rental properties in Columbus Ohio. The questions should be along the lines of the following:
  1. Did anyone complain about them when they occupied your space? If yes, why?
  2. How did the rental space look when they left? Was it n the same condition as when they first moved in?
  3. Did they pay their rent on time? Were there any issues concerning payment?

The Robert Weiler Company Serves Columbus Real Estate Seekers

For more than 75 years, The Robert Weiler Company has provided Ohio’s prospective real estate sellers with top-notch consulting to make sure they get the best pricing and tenants for their commercial rental properties in Columbus Ohio. Call us at 614-221-4286 to have all of your questions answered.