Warning Signs of a Potential Problem Tenant : A Potential Renter Had Multiple Addresses
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.
A Potential Renter Had Multiple Addresses
Beware of potential tenants who have had two or more addresses during the past two years. This could be an indicator that he or she has been breaking leases. It could even indicate he or she has been evicted more than once.
This is a key indicator of the type of person you are potentially leasing to, so be sure you do your due diligence on their previous landlords as well as their previous jobs as they might be job jumping as well. There is a whole subculture of individuals that will move into your place on a move in special and when the full rent is due the next month they are now living at a property right next door or down the street on a similar move in special, they go from place to place every month and pay very little to move in and sometimes destroy your property. This type of tenant is typically not evicted as they move out overnight and are long gone by the time you figure out they are no longer. This leaves the landlord typically cleaning out the unit to get it back up on the market.
Be sure you talk to all of their previous landlords to confirm they were not a problem tenant and ask them why they moved out, there can be cases where a job does have employees bounce around so you don’t want to miss a potential quality tenant just because you didn’t check into it further. I experienced a situation where a restaurant manager worked for a company that had multiple locations. This potential tenant was an individual they brought in to help train management when opening new locations so she moved around a lot, when she moved out she had even upgraded some of the faucets and shower heads so, in the end, it was a winning situation for everyone.
Look at each situation in detail and be extremely thorough but know the backstory, you don’t want to miss a potential good tenant but finding a bad one can be easy!
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.
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You may want to review some other warning signs of problem tenants as well, see what else you can do to address those issues: