3 Ways to Avoid Renting to a Rule-Breaking Tenant

by Chris on August 13, 2012

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could spot a problem tenant before they cost you money by failing to pay rent or causing damage to your rental property?

Tenants who disrespect rules are highly likely to become problem tenants.  How do you tell if an applicant is a rule-breaker?   Look for signs that the individual is disrespectful:

Showing Up Late Leads to Paying Rent Late

If an applicant shows up late to a scheduled appointment to meet with you or view the property with no apology or no plausible explanation, it’s more than annoying — it is the hallmark of a rule-breaker.  This lack of respect for your time may be only the tip of the iceberg. 

Habitually late individuals often lack self-discipline.  This quality may spill over into other areas of their life, like their finances and bill-paying habits. 

This can also flag a lack of commitment to renting the home, and may be a sign of a rebellious personality — hardly the traits of an ideal tenant!

Holes in the Rental Application Paint a Picture

By not providing the information requested in the rental application, the applicant is demonstrating their struggle with following rules.  Whether they are hiding information they don’t want you to see, or they simply don’t want to be bothered, leaving out information impedes your ability to effectively screen and evaluate whether this person would make a good tenant. 

Trash Talk Spells Trouble

You may have heard the saying, “whoever gossips with you will gossip about you.”  The same is true of the applicant who speaks negatively about their current or previous landlords.  

If previous problems are cast as someone else’s fault, or the applicant is unhappy that a previous landlord enforced the rules in the lease, consider that a preview of what they may say about you when the tenancy ends.

If you notice signs of a rule-breaker, that’s your cue to perform careful due diligence on this individual. Run tenant screening reports and speak with previous landlords.  Determine if there is an explanation for the applicant’s actions. 

If not, you may have revealed a pattern of misconduct that could lead to income loss.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia Choat August 21, 2012 at 7:04 am

Wow, I loved this article. I can’t say WOW enough. This is really something I am going to use. I never thought of it like this.
Thanks!

Julia Christie August 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

This is sooo true. We habitually have prospective tenants late to inspections, but it can be difficult to coordinate with bus schedules, etc. But this one tenant, was 5 minutes early, so she left to do another errand, and ended up being 30 minutes late, showing complete disrespect for me and my time. I should have run! Now she’s 3 months late with the rent, had an eviction court date, and is now actually 4 months late with rent. She lost her section 8 funding, and it still will be at least another month before I can force her out with the constable. And the real issue to me is that there is no hope of me ever seeing any of the monies owed to me.

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