Prior to accepting an application from a renter and signing a contract, it is recommended that you meet with the renter. This is an important part as it allows you to review expectations, and house rules, and to better understand if the renter is compatible with your home. The interview can be done in a few ways:
Host and Renter Interview Guide
Meeting face-to-face is the best way to learn about a person. You can schedule a time to meet your prospective renter at your home, or at a central location such as a coffee shop.
As an alternative to in-person interviews, a video call provides a simple way to connect with your renter. Video calls are a great option if your renter is currently living in another city or country, or not available in-person.
There are several options available that are free to use, such as:
- Google Meet – Free service from Google.
- ZOOM – Secure video calling app for PC, iOS, or Android.
- Facetime – default app for iPhone and iPad (only for Apple devices)
- WhatsApp – Common platform around the world (required mobile phone)
- Skype – Video calling app for iOS, Android, PC.
A traditional phone call is the simplest option for an interview. If your renter is in a different country, you can use a video calling app to make a free voice-only call, such as WhatsApp.
Steps for the host to interview a prospective renter:
- Review the renter profile and application, accessible from your dashboard.
- Message the renter to arrange a day/time and method/location of the interview.
- Interview renter. You may use the following questions as a guide.
- Make sure to take notes and discuss potential areas of conflict. Review your house rules and expectations.
Also, Renters can apply to up to seven properties at a time. Applications may be removed automatically from the host account if the renter secures a placement with another host. To avoid losing applications, hosts should not delay contacting renters applicants.
Questions guide for the Host
To help you determine whether your prospective renter is a good fit for your home and your lifestyle, the following list of questions may be helpful to go over with the renter:
- Please tell me about yourself, your personality and lifestyle, any prior shared living renter experience/lessons learned, and what you’re looking forward to in sharing a home.
- What would you expect your regular daily activities to be
during your stay: academic schedule; paid or volunteer work;
other activities; morning/night routines; in or out of the home
most of each day?
- How do you suggest we work together to share the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and common areas?
- Clean and tidy mean different things to different people. Please describe for me your standard of household cleanliness and tidying, providing specific examples (kitchen, bathroom, laundry, common areas).
- Every shared household encounters problems from time to time. What can we do at the start to reduce or prevent problems later? How do you suggest we handle our conflicts when they do arise?
- How would you prefer to be advised if there is a problem e.g. discuss in person, text, or leave a note?
- Explain what is supplied in the home for the renter’s use and what the renter will need to bring or arrange for themselves.
- Discuss distance to amenities.
- Are there any special considerations to be aware of? Examples:
- Allergies or other relevant health concerns
- Cultural and/or faith practices
- Parent would like to visit over the holidays
- Need storage for winter tires and paddleboard
Finally, don’t forget to write down any notes you may have so you can go back to these notes and decide on the rental application.