NEW: BP Podcast 66: Flips, Apartments, & Protecting Yourself From Professional Tenants with Michael Blank

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Forums » Landlord & Rental Property Questions » Best Story of a Tenant Taking themselves Out of Consideration.

Best Story of a Tenant Taking themselves Out of Consideration.

33 posts by 23 users

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· Salt Lake City, Utah


I had a prospective tenant call me the other day, who seemed very excited about a house I have for rent. In the process of telling me she was interested she told me she was taking her current land lord to court because he only gave her 45 days notice about terminating her month to month lease. (30 days required in my state). She also said the landlord told her "you obviously aren't happy here, so let's end your lease at the end of the year."

So, I don't know the landlord's side of the story, but it sure looks like she has been complaining enough that he got sick of her, and while not knowing the laws she's tying him up in a court case anyhow. And has known for 30 days her lease was ending, but hasn't started looking for a new apartment.

What are some of your stories about potential tenants telling you something that seems like common sense not to say, but you were grateful they said so you don't rent to them?



Real Estate Investor · Garland, Texas


Welcome to BiggerPockets, Jacob!

"I have 5 Pit Bulls and no one will rent to me...."


Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545
Website: http://www.facebook.com/Buttermilks


Real Estate Investor · Squaw Valley, California


Jacob, we were doing a test ad for a single wide mobile home in Indiana, and had some lady who her and her boyfriend desperately needed our help. They had 7 dogs (they would be willing to get ride of 1, or maybe 2) and were being evicted because they couldn't always make the huge payment on time, and their landlord had enough "excuses" every month. I began with running a few numbers with her and showing her what she would have to come up with for a down payment, then a monthly payment (carrying the note/seller financing). She insisted we should not give up on her, and called us a million times a day trying to work a deal. They were desperate and we were her only help. When I finally had enough and told her it would not work, and that the mobile had sold, she insisted we find another one. She eventually started calling from another number, and when I called her by her name, she insisted that she was the sister and gave me another story. This lady had numerous sisters and for some reason, they called from the 2 numbers, and they all sounded the same! Some of the people you come across you just have to feel sorry for, but at the same time, let them be someone else's problem!



· Orlando, Florida


A woman called and made an appointment to come visit the house. I was there at the scheduled time, but they got lost twice and had to call me to get directions to find the place. They finally arrived in a white van.

When they arrived they were full of ideas about painting one of the bedrooms, replacing the range with their own range which they had in storage. I told them they couldn't do these things and they seemed peeved.

They decided to apply anyway, and were filling the app out on the spot, and ran into trouble because they couldn't remember the last name of their previous landlord (they were currently living "with family"). I told them I needed that and they decided to go back out to the van because maybe they could find the information there.

When they returned from the van, they managed to track dog doo into the house, and it began to smell. By this time I was getting p*ssed because I had another group scheduled to visit right after them.

Anyway, I ran the application and the man had several convictions and some of the woman's rental info did not check out, so the rest is history...



Real Estate Investor · Audubon, Pennsylvania


Had a group of Spanish speaking lookers; they said they liked the place and wanted the application. I said fine, how many adults will be living there; I gave them enough paperwork for the number of people they said, and told them that ALL adults must fill out the application. Before they leave, they go to the kitchen and start arguing in Spanish (I'm not fluent in Spanish, so I was at a disadvantage there). As near as I could tell, they were arguing over who was going to put their name on the application. I asked them to leave, and said that it doesn't seem to be a good match since they were having some difficulties.

The next week, I have a showing and the same bunch shows up; they used a different phone number when they called to see the place from the number they used previously. I said that they already saw the place, and that I wasn't going to be considering them. They said they had the application filled out (but missing info at that) and brought pay stubs - but not enough for all of the adults that were supposed to be occupants, and the application did not have all names on it either. I said that their application was not complete and I could not accept it.

The next week, one of the guys from that bunch and I guess his wife were driving past the house while I was outside, and stopped. Asked me if I remembered him, because he STILL wanted the house. I told him I'm not interested and to keep moving.

And he tried something again later that week that I can't bring up in the forums. But they just didn't seem to understand that simple word: NO. And they couldn't follow simple directions, and my not being a Spanish speaker wasn't going to allow use of their first language.


Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Real Estate Investor · Michigan


I had a woman recently look at a house. It turns ouit she had seen one of my other houses about a month earlier. She recognized me and I recognized her. She said that she had seen my other house. I said, "I remember, you were there with your granddaughter, right?" (I must have been thinking of someone else.) She said, "Granddaughter? How dare you!" and she left. She looked about 50. In that neighborhood, I suppose she could've been 35. They age fast around there.

I had a guy two years ago apply for a house. On the application, he stated that he had no felonies. When I ran his criminal record, he was on probation for stalking. He called to ask if he was approved. I asked him if he was on probation for stalking. He said, "That's not supposed to show up!" I told him it DID in fact show up. He told me the whole thing was a "misunderstanding" and I should rent to him. I replied, "I don't think so, stalker." He got pissed that I called him a stalked and hung up.

I had another lady ask me what th equity was in the house. Seemed like an odd question for a tenant to ask. I said, "The equity?" She did kind of a head bob and said, "You don't know what equity is?" I said, "I know exactly what equity is. Who gives a sh#$ how much equity I have? What difference does that make for you?" She walked out and I didn't see her again.



Real Estate Investor · Northern, California


Originally posted by Rob K:
I had another lady ask me what th equity was in the house. Seemed like an odd question for a tenant to ask. I said, "The equity?" She did kind of a head bob and said, "You don't know what equity is?" I said, "I know exactly what equity is. Who gives a sh#$ how much equity I have? What difference does that make for you?" She walked out and I didn't see her again.

How weird. I wonder if she just didn't know what that meant and was trying to ask something else, or if she really wanted to know how much equity ($$$) you had in the house in case something went wrong and she decided to sue you.



Real Estate Investor · Garland, Texas


Originally posted by Kyle J.:
Originally posted by Rob K:
I had another lady ask me what th equity was in the house. Seemed like an odd question for a tenant to ask. I said, "The equity?" She did kind of a head bob and said, "You don't know what equity is?" I said, "I know exactly what equity is. Who gives a sh#$ how much equity I have? What difference does that make for you?" She walked out and I didn't see her again.

How weird. I wonder if she just didn't know what that meant and was trying to ask something else, or if she really wanted to know how much equity ($$$) you had in the house in case something went wrong and she decided to sue you.

Of she was wondering if Rob had the financial strength to be a good landlord; to fix whatever might be needed. Or to see if he was in danger of foreclosure. I've had prospective tenants who were moving because their landlords were being foreclosed on.


Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545
Website: http://www.facebook.com/Buttermilks


Real Estate Investor · Michigan


Originally posted by Jon Klaus:
Originally posted by Kyle J.:
Originally posted by Rob K:
I had another lady ask me what th equity was in the house. Seemed like an odd question for a tenant to ask. I said, "The equity?" She did kind of a head bob and said, "You don't know what equity is?" I said, "I know exactly what equity is. Who gives a sh#$ how much equity I have? What difference does that make for you?" She walked out and I didn't see her again.

How weird. I wonder if she just didn't know what that meant and was trying to ask something else, or if she really wanted to know how much equity ($$$) you had in the house in case something went wrong and she decided to sue you.

Of she was wondering if Rob had the financial strength to be a good landlord; to fix whatever might be needed. Or to see if he was in danger of foreclosure. I've had prospective tenants who were moving because their landlords were being foreclosed on.

I don't think that was the case here. She had an attitude problem as soon as she walked in. I think she was using words like equity to try and appear smart. Also, she didn't ask "How much equity do you have" it was more like "What's the equity in this house". Either way, she was an idiot and I was glad when she left.

I usually look at how the people talk to me in the first two minutes and then ask myself, "Do I want to deal with these people for the next two years?"



Real Estate Investor · Middletown, New Jersey


I had a call from a potential tenant who told me she was on rental assistance, had 2 year old twins, and was pregnant. No problem there - until she faxed over the application, which had 2 additional kids listed. She had checked off "No" to the question of eviction. I then called her caseworker, who informed me that the woman actually has 7 kids, and is pregnant with the 8th. When I asked why the woman didn't say that up front, the caseworker said she was afraid no one would rent to her.

She then volunteered that the woman's current landlord had initiated eviction proceedings. I was amazed a caseworker would lay it all out like that, but she said the woman would call me to explain it all. I told her not to bother, that false information on the app was enough for denial.



Real Estate Investor · Montesano, Washington


I showed a unit to a woman once who was thrilled with the apartment. I asked her where she worked. She said she didn't. I asked what kind of income she had. She said she didn't. No state assistance, no nothing. Just $0. I asked her how she thought she'd pay rent - she said "Can I just make payments on it?"

I'm still confused on that one. Needless to say - since that day, I ask the income question on the phone before showing any units.


Small_bp-squareBrandon Turner, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.BiggerPockets.com
VP of Marketing and Communication - BiggerPockets.com Follow me on Twitter! @BrandonAtBP


Real Estate Investor · Garland, Texas


Originally posted by Brandon Turner:
I showed a unit to a woman once who was thrilled with the apartment. I asked her where she worked. She said she didn't. I asked what kind of income she had. She said she didn't. No state assistance, no nothing. Just $0. I asked her how she thought she'd pay rent - she said "Can I just make payments on it?"

I'm still confused on that one. Needless to say - since that day, I ask the income question on the phone before showing any units.

That is a head scratcher. "You want to make payments on making payments with no payment?"

Also, over enthusiastic prospects can be a red flag.


Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545
Website: http://www.facebook.com/Buttermilks


Real Estate Investor · Audubon, Pennsylvania


The best part about these is you do not have to send them any written rejection ...


Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Real Estate Investor · -, Illinois


Prospective tenant: "Do you know if the DEA has a local office around here?"

Me: "Uh, yeah."



· Orlando, Florida


Another one:

A husband and wife and their two kids came to see the place. The man was acting a little edgy and kept telling me "I was a soldier in the US Army" (currently he was on disability). I told them I would need to do a credit check and the wife told me I could just do one on him, I didn't need to do one on her. The man also wanted to do an arrangement where I would meet him at random places around Orlando each month to pick up the rent (instead of them mailing it). They also wanted me not to take a holding deposit because they didn't have enough money at that time.

I could barely hear them while we were trying to have a conversation because their two kids were running around the house screaming the entire time. When they left I found that the kids had damaged the miniblinds in one room.

The man called back the next day and I told him I didn't think it was going to work out...



Residential Real Estate Agent · Jacksonville, Florida


I had a tenant who was very eager to move in ASAP. I had her fill out an application and told her I would need to review it. She said she was living with her sister and of course didn't have any evictions. When I checked the public records I type her very unique name in and there it was. She had three evictions in the past year, the last of which was just two weeks prior. She was no doubt looking to make me the fourth. What I found amazing was that at least two of them were from large apartment complexes with professional management. I can't believe they wouldn't check that. Thank God I did, I'm sure it would have been an expensive nightmare. Thankfully that's the only experience I've had with a professional tenant.



Real Estate Investor · Audubon, Pennsylvania


Originally posted by Tim Czarkowski:
... She had three evictions in the past year, the last of which was just two weeks prior. ... What I found amazing was that at least two of them were from large apartment complexes with professional management. I can't believe they wouldn't check that. ...

I have had a number of sub-par lookers that were living within large complexes. The property managers there can be just as careless as anybody; sometimes they don't care because the business model they use assumes certain vacancy and eviction numbers anyway, with attorneys on retainer to do evictions. One applicant years ago had been evicted for the first time from a large complex, and then found a new residence with a different large complex. When I rejected him for that prior eviction that had been confirmed in writing from that first complex, he answered with the same sort of disbelief that you expressed: "Why would the place I'm in take me if I had been evicted?"

I have seen sex-offenders in bigger complexes, other felony convictions (mostly substance related), as well as evictions. So don't make assumptions in the future - check out all applicants diligently as you did with the one just mentioned.


Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183
...


Property Manager · Syracuse, New York


"I need to move within the next 72 hours" - means they just got a 72 hour notice to vacate after losing in eviction court. I can't believe how many people say that to me.

I check eviction court records before making an appointment with anyone. About half of the people who call are screened out right away.



Real Estate Investor · Michigan


Originally posted by Tim Czarkowski:
I had a tenant who was very eager to move in ASAP. I had her fill out an application and told her I would need to review it. She said she was living with her sister and of course didn't have any evictions. When I checked the public records I type her very unique name in and there it was. She had three evictions in the past year, the last of which was just two weeks prior. She was no doubt looking to make me the fourth. What I found amazing was that at least two of them were from large apartment complexes with professional management. I can't believe they wouldn't check that. Thank God I did, I'm sure it would have been an expensive nightmare. Thankfully that's the only experience I've had with a professional tenant.

The guy that does carpet cleaning for me has a large apartment complex (300+ units) that he does all of the carpet cleaning for. He told me that it was taken over by a large company that buys apartments all over the country. Their goal is high occupancy numbers and they lowered their standards to eliminate vacancies. The carpet guy is now super busy there due to all of the turnover and evictions. The entire complex has gone from a halfway decent place with many vacancies to a bleephole with less vacancies, but high turnover and lower quality tenants. The onsite management is pressured by their bosses to have low vacancy numbers even though it has equated to less revenue. They will pretty much rent to anyone to meet their occupancy quota.



· Orlando, Florida


Originally posted by Rob K:
Originally posted by Tim Czarkowski:
I had a tenant who was very eager to move in ASAP. I had her fill out an application and told her I would need to review it. She said she was living with her sister and of course didn't have any evictions. When I checked the public records I type her very unique name in and there it was. She had three evictions in the past year, the last of which was just two weeks prior. She was no doubt looking to make me the fourth. What I found amazing was that at least two of them were from large apartment complexes with professional management. I can't believe they wouldn't check that. Thank God I did, I'm sure it would have been an expensive nightmare. Thankfully that's the only experience I've had with a professional tenant.

The guy that does carpet cleaning for me has a large apartment complex (300+ units) that he does all of the carpet cleaning for. He told me that it was taken over by a large company that buys apartments all over the country. Their goal is high occupancy numbers and they lowered their standards to eliminate vacancies. The carpet guy is now super busy there due to all of the turnover and evictions. The entire complex has gone from a halfway decent place with many vacancies to a bleephole with less vacancies, but high turnover and lower quality tenants. The onsite management is pressured by their bosses to have low vacancy numbers even though it has equated to less revenue. They will pretty much rent to anyone to meet their occupancy quota.

Doesn't sound like a very good business model.

What I don't get is that a lot of these apartments only charge a $300 security deposit (from what I've heard). That doesn't seem like enough for all the damage these people could do. Perhaps they make up for it by providing a shoddy product and not doing improvements. I know they have more cash/leverage to pursue these tenants in court if they cause major damage, but then there's also the issue of getting blood out of a stone when it comes to actually collecting.





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