Thursday, August 12, 2004

Tenant Red Flags

Many long-time landlords will tell you that evaluating new potential tenants is more art than science. While the same criteria and process for evaluating tenants must be followed for each applicant, there are some things that should be seen as possible warning signs. Any one of these red flags does not necessarily mean that the person is a "bad" tenant, but simply means that even more thorough scrutiny and attention should be paid.

Here are some actions and/or questions that you should put you on alert:

-They needed to move in "right away"
-Low credit scores
-They lied about having a pet
-Questioning/arguing over lines in the lease
-Not caring what is in the lease
-Self-employed
-Paying the move in costs in payments instead of all at once.
-If you don't allow pets and they have one but say they'll get rid of it.
-Bring their parents with them and the parents do all the talking.
-Leave ANYTHING blank on the application
-Caller I.D. says, Payphone.
-They say,"We're packed and ready and we'll take it"-- but they haven't seen it yet.
-They ride with someone else.
-Carry a cigarette in the house without asking.
-More interested in storage than the house.
-"Do you do credit checks?"
-Can you change this and that because I don't like the color
-They say they "only smoke outside".
-They "forgot" to bring their driver's license.
-Offering to pay a full year of rent upfront. (possible illegal activity)
-People living with relatives or friends.
-Our landlord is selling the house we are in right now
-Show up late for the appointment to see the apartment.
-Only reference is their parole officer.
-Last address is a vacant lot.
-Show up to see unit intoxicated.
-Complaining too much about the previous landlord.
-Too complimentary
-Complain about a application/screening fee
-Walk in and don't really look at the place
-A gap in dates which showed no residence/job for a period of several months.
-Can the family room be used as another bedroom?
-Did you get your deposit back at your prior rentals? No, the Landlord used it for the last months rent.

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