Warning Signs of a Potential Problem Tenant : Willing To Take Anything Available?
If you are a landlord or real estate agent, you know that checking a potential tenant’s bank, credit, background, landlord references, and employment information can help you determine whether that person would be a good rental prospect. If the potential renter has shown a history of paying his or her rent on time, that person would make a good tenant, right? Actually, there are other signs that could indicate a tenant who might not become a problem.
Everything else about the applicant appears to be okay so we sometimes ignore these warning signs. Many other times, we are in such a hurry to get the unit back on a paying basis, we go ahead and rent to the person anyway.
When your applicant begins to make a series of statements or excuses of why he or she cannot comply with your requests for information, you may have a potential problem renter. In these instances, you really need to explore further and to ask follow-up questions.
Willing to take anything available?
Many times a tenant who is desperate due to either a pending eviction or being forced from their current residence due to a violation of the lease will not care whether a new place suits their needs, they just need a new place to live. Be wary of a tenant that seems willing to take any unit available, or does not ask questions about the unit, the amenities, or the area.
Before showing the unit, ask questions of the prospective tenant like, “What are you looking for in a unit? Why are you moving? What did you like about your previous place of residence, what didn’t you like?” Everyone has particulars in what they like/don’t like and should be able to express these to you.
If they only care about when they can move in, or ask only questions about the application process, it should be a warning sign. Especially if they ask what is the minimum criteria for a tenant that you would accept. Remember to always use the same criteria for all tenants when it comes to choosing the right tenant so there are no issues with discrimination or fair housing laws.
If a prospective tenant does not ask questions, then you should bring up the amenities in the building and the area when showing the unit. Watch how they react, do they engage and ask questions about the amenities, or do they just dismiss them as if it does not matter.
Ultimately, as a landlord or property manager, you won’t always know what type of tenants you will be dealing with until you’re in the leasing process. However, Instant Tenant Screening should give you an idea. Past behavior is a likely dictator of future behavior. Remember to always clearly state the expectations and outline the consequences of breaking the rules in the lease agreement. As it is a legally binding document, it can guide and protect most any situation you encounter.
One of the easiest ways to address tenant problems is to avoid them altogether. To ensure you get the information you need we’ve created a download that shows you the 9 Most Effective Methods To Reduce Tenant Problems. Get your download today!
You may want to review some other warning signs of problem tenants as well, see what else you can do to address those issues: