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Frequently Asked Questions by Tenants: How to Answer Them

Being a landlord or property manager is a large job. Aside from maintaining properties, you should strive to maintain a good relationship with each tenant. One way to start off a landlord-tenant relationship strong is by answering any questions they have about a rental property or the application process. As such, today, we’ll go over frequently asked questions by tenants and how to answer them effectively. 


Contents of This Article: 

Importance of Communicating With Tenants

Communicating with tenants is a crucial part of being a landlord or property manager in Northern Virginia. Effective communication ensures a healthy relationship between tenants and property owners. After all, clear, open, and consistent communication can prevent conflict and misunderstandings between both parties. 


For instance, if a tenant has concerns about maintenance, effective communication can help the property manager address the issue quickly. Additionally, effective communication can help tenants feel more comfortable and secure in their living situation. In return, it can result in lower turnover rates and more lease renewals. 

Communicating with tenants plays a huge role in setting expectations for both parties. As such, starting your landlord-tenant relationship on a good note is important. One way to do that is by answering any questions or concerns they may have about your property. Next, we’ll go over some frequently asked questions by tenants and how to answer them. 

Frequently Asked Questions by Tenants

Tenants often have several questions before applying to a rental property. That said, it’s important to be able to answer all of their questions thoroughly. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by tenants and to answer them. 

1. What is the Rent Application Process?


The first step in renting to a new tenant is the application process. Generally, the process includes:

  • Paying for an application.
  • Filling it out.
  • Conducting a background check.
  • Showing proof of income.
  • Contacting their references.
  • Signing a lease.

However, each application process may differ depending on the landlord or property manager. As such, providing clear instructions and as much information as possible is crucial if a prospective tenant has questions about the process. 

2. How Much Is Rent?

Another frequently asked question by tenants is: How much is rent? Generally, the rent amount is outlined in the application or rental listing. However, your tenant may want to negotiate the rental rate or ask for a lower rate. Therefore, it’s important to be clear about the rate you set and carefully consider any counter-offers.

In addition to asking how much the rental rate is, it’s common to ask what’s included. For example, sometimes the tenant pays for utilities and includes it in the rental rate, while other times, tenants are responsible for setting up and paying for utilities separately. 

3. Is the Security Deposit Refundable?

Most landlords require a security deposit at the beginning of a lease term. The security deposit covers any potential damage or unpaid rent that may occur during the term. Then, when the lease is up, some landlords refund the full or partial security deposit amount. However, some require a non-refundable security deposit, meaning the tenant won’t receive any of it back at the end of the term. 

4. How Long Is the Lease Term?

Most tenants will ask about the lease term. That said, most leases are 12 months. However, some landlords offer flexible lease terms, like 6-month or month-to-month contracts. Your tenant needs to understand the lease term and how long they’ll need to commit to living in the property. 

5. Are There Penalties for Breaking the Lease?


Some tenants don’t want to stay in a rental for 12 months, so they end up breaking the lease early. However, most landlords have penalties for doing so. For instance, the most common consequence for breaking the lease early includes withholding their full security deposit. However, if a tenant asks about breaking the lease early, inform them of what may happen if they do so.

6. Do You Accept Pets for an Additional Fee?

Pets aren’t allowed in every rental property, but many tenants will ask if they are. If you don’t accept pets, it’s crucial to reiterate that to prospective tenants. However, if you do accept pets, you’ll want to outline any additional fees or deposits associated with having pets in the property. Additionally, you’ll want to be aware of Fair Housing Laws about service animals

7. Is Renter’s Insurance Required?

Some prospective tenants may ask about renter’s insurance and whether it’s required or recommended. Not all landlords require renter’s insurance, but if you do, you’ll want to explain what it is and how it’s beneficial. For instance, it can help protect your tenant’s belongings, personal liability, and emergency expenses. Make sure you or your property manager can answer any tenant questions about renter’s insurance. 

8. What Maintenance or Repair Services are Available?

Maintenance and repair procedures are a vital part of any rental property. Most tenants will ask about your procedures. For instance, they’ll want to know if you have 24/7 emergency maintenance services and how quickly requests are generally handled. Therefore, it’s important that you have a solid maintenance plan in place and assure your tenants that repairs are handled as quickly as possible.


9. What’s the Parking Situation?

Parking can be a nightmare at some rental properties. As such, tenants will want to know the parking situation, whether they need to pay extra for parking, and if there are extra parking spaces for guests. That said, if they need to pay for a parking space, make sure you outline that in the rental agreement. Additionally, provide any necessary information about where they can park, where they can’t park, and guest parking policies.

10. Can I Renew the Lease at the End of the Term?

Another question you may get from tenants is if they can renew the lease at the end of the current term. Generally, this is beneficial for both landlords and tenants. However, it depends on if the tenant respects the property and the lease terms. As such, if you have inquiries about a lease renewal, review any of your qualifications or rent increases at the time of renewal. Additionally, if they’re a good tenant, consider offering incentives for them to stay in your property for another term. 

How to Answer All Your Tenant’s Questions

It’s essential to be able to answer all the most frequently asked questions by tenants. Whether you manage your own properties or have a comprehensive rental management team, you’ll want to be well-versed in all rental practices. Now that we’ve reviewed some of the most commonly asked questions, you can communicate better depending on your tenant’s inquiries or concerns. 

Need More Advice? contact us today!

If you’re looking for help managing your rentals, look no further than Bay Property Management Group. We offer comprehensive rental management services, including marketing, tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, and more. To learn more about how we can help your rental business succeed, contact BMG today.