It is not fun to reject possible tenants! How much fun will it be to evict them, or worse, clean up the damage they do to your property?
I wonder, “Why is it so hard to reject new tenants?”
Just today, I spent three hours checking on various references on this lady’s application before rejecting her.
She talked a good game….telling me what every Landlord wants to hear: “I’m super clean and keep my kids in line. We always pay our rent on time and have plenty of money saved up for the deposit. We have a good rental history and will take care of your house.”
Then the truth comes out….the most recent Landlord even sent me a video of the house that five people lived in for a year: new paint needed, the entire house was filthy and smelled like urine throughout.
I even entertained her story that the eviction from two Landlords ago was not legitimate. THEN I read the Eviction complaint on the Clerk’s website. The property had significant damage ONLY 6 weeks after they moved in!
Add this up with several other negatives, including a 500 credit score with recent collections for utilities and bad phone numbers for most of her references…..REJECTED for sure. It really PAYS to thoroughly check your prospective tenants’ background and all references, especially landlords.
Save yourself some headaches:
1) MAKE SURE they have some skin in the game! YES, even Section 8 tenants should have the money for deposits on the rental as well as utilities. If they get their deposit and even LAST month’s rent from an agency then they have NO MOTIVATION to maintain your property!
2) Applicants also need to earn 3.5 times the rent MINIMUM (Section 8 tenants need 2x). This means that the income required is $4200 for a $1200 rental. Anything less than that and just a few days off work, for sickness or weather, can affect your income.
As a conscientious Landlord, we provide QUALITY housing to DISCERNING tenants who will pay HIGHER RENT because it shows like a model home! Our tenants are expected to treat the house well. Our track record speaks for itself….3 evictions in 7 years and even they all left the houses in near perfect condition!
We like to ask a lot of questions before taking the $50 per adult application fee. If they pass that interview, then we move forward. If you cannot verify everything on the application, it’s better to be safe than sorry and REJECT them. Even if your mortgage is due and you cannot find a better tenant. It is better to let the property sit empty for another month than risk a full rehab, which will cost much more than a month’s mortgage payment.
REJECTING a potentially bad tenant will allow a better tenant to apply. Remember, follow your gut instinct, it’s never wrong!