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5 Warning Signs of a Bad Tenant

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Marina Shlomov - Monday, April 10, 2017

5 Warning Signs of a Bad Tenant

 Let me guess what a landlord’s perfect reality looks like. All prospects have a good credit score, a perfect background, and a high monthly income. They have no pets, little kids, or bad habits. They also hate loud music and late-night parties. Sorry for revealing the truth, but this picture has nothing to do with the real world. If you’ve been renting your place out for some time already, you are likely to know that some tenants don’t pay on time, others break lease, and the rest make your home smell like an ashtray. Sounds familiar? Then you’ll find this article useful. 


While things like a credit score or an eviction history might tell you a lot about your future tenant, there are other red flags you should take into account. Yes, you heard it right. There are more warning signs of a bad tenant than you know. And I am not talking about tenants’ blacklist or anything that much obvious.


Feeling intrigued? Keep reading to find out. 


Your Tenant Leaves Negative Comments About Previous Landlords 


It can be either a short caustic remark or a long story full of sarcastic details. What matters here is the content. If your tenant feels comfortable sharing such stories with a complete stranger, there is one logical conclusion to make. Those who gossip with you about others tend to gossip with others about you. Of course, it does not necessarily mean that this person will be a bad tenant. What it means is that you are about to sign an agreement with someone who has serious problems with personal ethics. 


Your Tenant’s Hobby Is to Change Jobs Often

According to statistics, an average person stays on the same job for 4.2 years. Of course, everyone is unique, and there are circumstances that might force one to change jobs more frequently. However, if your tenant’s employment history indicates constant career changes, there might be something serious going on. So it is sure a good idea to contact one or two of prospect’s employers to make sure there is nothing to worry about. 


Your Tenant Wants to Move in Immediately 

Some landlords might not see any problem about this, but you should not be one of them. According to industry experts, there are some questions you should never skip when screening your tenant. The question about move-in date should be one of them. If your tenant is eager to move in too soon, chances are he/she has got some problems with his previous rental. As a landlord, you have a moral right to know what circumstances forced a person to be in such a hurry. 


Your Tenant Brings Too Many People to See Your Apartment

There is nothing wrong with families coming together to see their future home. However, if your prospective tenant arrives with a couple of friends who just ‘happened to be around’, there is a fair good chance that they are planning to move in as well. It might be not a big deal if you don’t care about how many people stay in your place.

Nonetheless, if your plan is to let a small studio to one person, you’d better watch out. 

Your Tenant Doesn’t Sound and Look Good 

It might be rude to judge people based on what they wear and how they talk, but you have a great excuse as a landlord. You are about to make an agreement with someone you barely know, so it is ok to be observant. Take a look to make sure your prospect looks clean and tidy. Pay attention to your applicant’s tone and language. Sometimes the way one speaks can reveal more than a background check.  

I adore Michael Jackson, so I think it’s always a good idea to quote his songs. ‘Remember to always think twice,’ the pop king suggests, and this piece of advice sounds like a good conclusion to this article. There is no perfect strategy that will keep you away from bad tenants, but there are tips to maximize your chances of getting the good ones. 


Author’s bio: The writer, Oksana Richards creates remarkable content for Rentberry. Being well-versed in the real estate, she writes for the company’s blog and creates guest articles that sound educational.

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