10 Signs to Look Out For to Avoid Bad Tenants
Are you a landlord or a property manager who is looking to fill in your vacancies with good tenants? Do you want a guide on how to avoid bad tenants who might give you a headache afterwards? Here are 10 red flags that show that the person may be a bad tenant.
- They Show Up Late to the Showing
This is may not be the most critical problem, but it may be a sign that they do not respect other people’s time. Of course, I am not talking about people who will let you know that they will be late because something came up. I am targeting the people who show up more than 15 minutes late to the showing with no good reason and without any apologies for their lateness.
- More Than Expected People Come to the Showing
You have already arranged a time with the potential tenant, and you are at the property ready to show it to that person. To your surprise, you see them approaching you with 4 other people you have no idea about. Why is this a red flag? Well, it could mean that these people may want to share the dwelling with the potential tenant without your knowledge, OR they would always be coming over and having loud gatherings.
- They Refuse to Fill in an Application and Question Your Application Process
An application to a property manager or a landlord is like providing your personal information to your credit card company. It is part of the business and it is legal. If they refuse to fill in an application, that could indicate that there are some things that they don’t want to disclose, and maybe expect preferential treatment, which is an indicator of a difficult person. Yes, I bet many property managers and landlords have dealt with a lot of people who bombard them with emails about why they are requesting personal information or start lecturing them about how to do things. Or even better, they start calling/texting/emailing them multiple times, even if the landlord told them that they will get back to them once all is figured out.
- They Want to Pay Rent In Cash
Cash is “King”, isn’t it? Definitely not when it comes to rental payments. Tenants who want to pay in cash tend to be problematic ones in our experience. They usually get money in illegal ways and don’t use bank accounts to hide their transactions. In many cases, cash payers often have sinister motives like using the property for dealing drugs, turning it into a brothel, or some other illegal activity. One of the most critical red flags: Be aware of potential tenants who offer cash for rent payments and refuse their application!
- They are in a Hurry to get an Apartment
Usually lease renewals are sent to tenants 3 to 6 months before their lease is up every year. If you find someone who is in a hurry to rent while still on a lease with another landlord, that could be a red flag. This person might be in the process of eviction. Usually these people are the ones who are ready to pay 6 months in advance or start waving money in your face. Don’t get allured by that. Responsible people start their apartment hunting at least 3-4 months ahead. Of course, there are exceptions to that, such as people who are looking for an apartment at the last minute due to job relocation, etc.
- They Give you Wrong Reference Numbers
I am not saying that they are making up the number, but they are writing down numbers that may be for their relatives, colleagues, or friends and claiming that these people are their landlords, or bosses. When doing a reference check, and you feel that the person you are speaking to is exaggerating about your potential tenants, avoiding some questions by deflecting or plain not knowing what you are talking about these are all red flags. Check your resources well. Property managers like Agrasoy Realty can help you in this area, as we have many resources to determine if the information is false or not.
- They lied about their Income
It is known amongst property managers, landlords etc., that potential tenants need to have an annual income that is 3 times the annual rent. Some tenants know that too and might provide you with wrong annual income on their application. A lot of professional property managers are aware of this and make sure to perform due diligence and ask for an employment letter in addition to the last pay stubs. There could be an explanation to why some tenants write down an exaggerated amount, like sales executives as they receive commission, but it is never harmful to double check. If someone did indeed lie, that is a major red flag!
- They Have Two or Three Different Addresses in the Past 3 Years
There could be a good explanation about why they were moving so much, but it is preferable to take these applications seriously and ask as many questions in order to get to the bottom of it. They could have been evicted or are difficult tenants who are not satisfied with anything.
- They have Bad Credit Scores
The credit check (Equifax or Transunion)will show if they have a history of making their payments on time or if they have been evicted in the past (outstanding rent sent to collections). With all of this information on hand, you should be well on your way to finding a tenant that’s right for you.
Low credit scores may not always be bad because some people have not been in the country long enough, but usually a lower than average credit score should be a red flag. What this means is that these tenants, were either always late on paying previous rentals or have some problem with paying bills in general. Poor financial management is an important indicator that you will have to constantly run after these tenants to perform their easiest responsibility and that is to pay the rent on the 1st of each month.
- They have Files at the Rental Board or have a Criminal History
Checking if the prospect has a criminal history or/and files at the rental board is one of the most important steps to avoid nightmare tenants. Bad tenants tend to be serial offenders and leave traces everywhere. A simple google search with their name and social media platforms can also give you a hint about their personalities. It is worth going the extra mile to avoid disastrous scenarios in the future.
Don’t accept just anyone! It is important to practice due diligence on whoever you are in contact with about your dwelling. Your property is like your baby, you must protect it at every cost. Being alert is not overdoing it or being too dramatic. It is essential.
Be mindful, you also don’t want to be unfair and misjudge people. Make sure to ask yourself this question before accepting anyone, did I do everything in my power to know whether this person will be an added headache, or will this person be a breath of fresh air?
If you don’t want the hassle to deal with the application, screening process, and/or managing your property you can always contact Agrasoy Realty Inc. at https://www.agrasoyrealty.com