How to Spot a Bad Tenant
A bad tenant can spell disaster for you and your business – and a string of bad tenants can ruin your business entirely. If you’re a property manager you know this issue all too well. When you have to rent out areas of your property, it is imperative to know how to spot a bad tenant before they move in so you can choose wisely who to rent to.
As property maintenance providers, Universal Site Services often cleans up the damages leftover by bad, disrespectful tenants. We are well versed in this issue and want to share a couple of flags you should look out for to spot a bad tenant and how to avoid them.
1. Hesitation When Submitting An Application
A good tenant will be ready and able at the leasing office with all of the proper paperwork required to fill out a leasing application or at the very least be ready to get them all together as needed without delay. If the prospective applicant doesn’t bring everything needed or is otherwise hesitant to submit an application, this is your first warning sign. If the potential applicant attempts to avoid any application process or seems to want to avoid a reference check they are likely not someone you want as a tenant. This is a bad sign that they might not have great references or backgrounds from other locations that they have leased previously.
2. Multiple Job Changes In A Short Period
Multiple job changes in the previous 6 months to a year can indicate that the individual is having trouble holding down a job – and will also have trouble paying rent on time. If the individual’s estimated income doesn’t seem like enough to cover rent, and he or she isn’t willing or able to tell you any other income sources, it’s time to say goodbye.
3. No Rental History
While it’s not a problem to accept first-time renters as your tenants (they just need to have a responsible co-signer), you should be wary of an individual who has rented before but has no proof of it. If he or she says they were paying their friend, significant other, or family member the rent, be careful – ask for proof that rent was paid on time. It’s possible that the tenant was violating previous lease agreements by staying in the apartment without notifying the landlord. If they were willing to break rules in the past, they’ll break them again.
4. Numerous Changes Of Address
Again, this is an obvious warning sign. Why did the tenant have to change addresses so often? It’s possible that they were evicted from their previous rental spaces, either for late payments or for violating the renter’s agreement. And were likely a problem tenant for former property owners and managers.
5. A Sense Of Urgency To Finalize A Lease
A major red flag is an overly pushy rental applicant. Complete your lease agreement under your terms and according to your normal schedule. Follow your normal routine and don’t make any exceptions for an aggressive applicant. Being pushy and trying to hurry everything along is almost a sure sign that you will have future issues with that applicant that will turn into a big headache.