Screening tenants for so called “red flags” begins with that first point of contact. Usually this is a phone call or an e-mail in response to an ad. That however is only the start. Your screening process should continue until that lease is signed, they have the keys and are moved in.
You want to keep your screening process in motion because red flags may not show themselves right away. Potential tenants may sound great on the phone while raising concerns at the showing. They may even make it all the way to the move in walk through before you decide to reverse course. Seems a bit harsh, but it is better to reverse course at the last minute than be stuck with a problem for a year or more.
16 Big Red Flags
Here are some of the red flags that have caused us to think a bit harder about a potential tenant.
- If they have to give you the back story before they answer your simple questions. If the response to questions like “Do you work” or “Have you ever been evicted or filed bankruptcy” does not begin with a simple yes or no but with a back story. Red Flag!
- If they are past college age, have a job, can qualify on their own and still have to come to the showing with their parents. Red Flag! Are they responsible? Can they make their own decisions? Do you want to deal with the high maintenance helicopter mom for a year?
- If they come to the showing with their parents and the parents do all the talking while the kid seems indifferent. Red Flag! What problem is the parent trying to get rid of?
- If …read more