Warning Signs of a Potential Problem Tenant : Did They Bring Lots of People to See the Place?
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.
Did They Bring Bring Lots of People to See the Place?
Be concerned if a potential renter comes to see the apartment with a lot of people. It is possible that person is just scoping the property to perhaps come back later to commit burglary. Of course, that is an extreme case, but maybe they are making plans for more people living in the apartment than who will sign and be on the lease. Or, there will constantly be a large number of people in the apartment as well as loud parties.
More isn’t always merrier, and that couldn’t be truer when you’re the one tasked with reviewing not one, but multiple applications, running background checks and contacting references. Whereas communication with one tenant leaves little room for miscommunication, relaying information between two or more tenants may become problematic at times.
It’s also important to consider the relationship of your tenants. If they’ve lived together before, it’s likely they get along well and that few surprises will pop up throughout the term of the lease. However, if it’s their first time living together there’s always the chance they won’t be compatible as roommates — a challenge that may very well drag you into their dysfunction.
There are so many things that can go wrong if these people have not previously lived together, finding a good roommate can be hard enough but having, even more, individuals trying to live together can create tension and lead to unhappy tenants and potential issues such as one of them getting fed up and moving out. I have known about situations where landlords that lost residents that were living with multiple people and they had a disagreement about how the utility bills should be split up as one of them wanted the AC left on and the others didn’t or someone leaves the dirty dishes in the sink and the others are left to clean it up.
Be sure all residents are on the lease and if any moves in or out you need to adjust the lease and deposits accordingly.
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: