After a while in the landlord business, showing rental properties to many tenants, you tend to hear some of the same questions and statements again and again. The screening process is alive from the moment you first speak with your new prospects until the leases are signed and the money is paid, so you must keep your eyes and ears open for clues and telltale signs of whether your prospect is the right tenant for your rental. Some of these questions can alert you if the tenant may be targeting you for a possible lawsuit concerning certain legal or housing issues.
10 Red Flag Questions or Statements that Should Worry You when Screening Tenants
“We can have my wife sign the lease. Her credit is OK.”
- “Why do you need our credit reports? That doesn’t tell you what good people we are.”
- “We’re moving because our landlord is a jerk.”
- “You won’t need a security deposit with us. We’ll take good care of your home.”
- “I’m an attorney and more than qualified to rent your house. By the way, I found 3 illegal questions in your rental application.”
- “Wait till you see the place when we’re done with it. You won’t recognize it.”
- “What is your policy concerning drugs?”
- “Are utilities included? I had a little dispute with the electric company.”
- “Do you declare your rental income on your taxes?”
- “Would you mind giving me the key so we can just put a few boxes in there today? I’ll have the money next week and we can sign the lease then.”
There are lots of “red flags” to watch for. What kind of “red flags” have you picked up in your landlord travels?