The #1 piece of advice an HMO operator is given, is screen your potential tenants. However, the process of managing tenants and their unique circumstances can be a daunting task.

As a landlord, finding the right tenants for your property is crucial to ensuring a smooth and hassle-free tenancy. It's important to attract high-quality tenants who have read the property description and understand the kind of tenancy that you are offering. However, it can be frustrating to go through the process of conducting viewings only to find out that the tenant has misread the move-in date or the maximum number of occupants. This is where tenant pre-screening can be incredibly useful.

Pre-screening tenants involves asking potential tenants a set of questions before arranging a viewing. This can help ensure that you are only showing your property to suitable tenants, saving you time and money in the long run. At NEVO, we've developed a vetting feature that allows landlords to send a list of questions to potential tenants before they book a viewing. This not only helps to ensure that tenants enquiring about your property are suitable but also saves you time and money by reducing the number of viewings you need to conduct.

So, what are some of the questions that landlords should be asking potential tenants during the pre-screening process? We asked successful NEVO landlords what questions they ask tenants before progressing with their enquiry. Here are the most popular questions asked by real HMO landlords:

  1. Can you move in by [PROPOSED DATE]?
  2. Will you be moving as a group/couple/family?
  3. Can you confirm that you know the rent is [£XXX]?
  4. What is your annual income?
  5. Are you in full-time employment?
  6. The minimum tenancy length will be XX months. Is this suitable?
  7. Are you on DSS or housing benefit?
  8. Do you have any pets?

Asking these questions during the pre-screening process can help ensure that potential tenants are suitable for your property before you arrange a viewing. It can also help to reduce the likelihood of tenants misreading important details about your property.

In addition to these questions, there are a few other screening questions that can be useful to ask potential tenants, including:

  1. Is the property furnished or unfurnished? Is this suitable for you?
  2. Are you a smoker?
  3. Do you own any pets?
  4. Are you a student?
  5. Do you require parking?
  6. Do you require a garden?

As a landlord, it's important to remember that pre-screening questions are no substitute for a professional referencing company. While pre-screening can help you weed out unsuitable tenants, it's still important to conduct a thorough referencing check before agreeing to a tenancy. This will give you a more detailed understanding of a tenant's financial and rental history, and help to protect you against potential problems in the future.

When it comes to referencing, there are a few key questions that landlords should ask, including:

  1. Do you have any CCJs?
  2. Have you ever been evicted?
  3. Have you ever been pursued for rent arrears?
  4. Do you earn over three times the rent?
  5. Do you have any unspent convictions?

Only a professional referencing company will be able to reliably answer these questions, so it's important to work with a reputable company to ensure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about a potential tenant.

In summary, pre-screening tenants can be an incredibly useful tool for landlords looking to attract high-quality tenants and reduce the number of viewings they need to conduct. By asking a set of screening questions before arranging a viewing, landlords can ensure that potential tenants are suitable for their property and have a genuine interest in renting it. While pre-screening is no substitute for professional referencing, it can help to streamline the rental process and save landlords time and money in the long run.

Instead of doing this yourself, save yourself the hassle and load all your screening criteria into NEVO ( and they can screen, qualify, book in your viewings and then confirm the potential tenant's attendance!