Rental applicants lie!

9 Replies

Tenant screenings can be a nightmare, and today was my first time screening with knowledge gained from BP podcasts and members. My very first tenant was chosen because I needed a tenant, and she was the only one who applied. Big mistake. My second tenant  was a friend of mine who left when she purchased her own home. She turned out to be a great tenant, so our friendship remained intact. Now that she has purchased her own home, I have to find a new tenant.

Today, without the knowledge I've gained on BP, I would have likely made a mistake that could have cost me not only a fortune, but months of heartache. 

The couple was in their late 40's, had adult children, and would be moving in without any other occupants. According to them, the husband had been hurt, and their previous landlord was not compassionate enough to accept their rent on the 6th when his disability checks were coming in, so the landlord kept filing for eviction.

I made it clear that they would not be able to move forward without me speaking to their former landlord(s). She finally emailed me (after leaving) with the information. What happened next was mind blowing.

I called the landlord. She could not believe that the tenants actually gave me her number since she is still in litigation with them for damage to her home, thousands in lost rent, cost of having to remove all of their belongings, etc. She walked me through searching the magistrate court records online where I was able to see that they had been evicted NUMBEROUS times and have other pending civil suits against them. They were using the address she evicted them from 9 months ago as their current address.

But they seemed so nice.... 

Newbies, make the calls. Take the time to really investigate potential tenants. I'm sure glad I did!

Thanks for the story.  I have been procrastinating screening our potential tenants.  Tomorrow I will make the calls.  Thank You!

@Marlene Michael Good stuff, glad you dodged that bullet! It's amazing what applicants will try to pull.  Here's two more for the newbies...

Had an applicant that called and gave me her whole life history over the phone.  When she submitted an application, I did an online search for her name.  Mugshots galore.  Wanted in connection with a homicide.  She conveniently left that out of her bio. She called back a couple of days later. Told her to Google her name and let me know if she had any questions.  Never heard from her again.

Another applicant seemed promising until her former property management company sent back the rental verification form. She paid late for 12 months and was finally evicted. When I told her what the property management company said, she replied that she wasn't evicted, a padlock was put on the door because the unit was foreclosed.  Told her surely the PM company got her mixed up with someone else, just have them send in a corrected rental verification form.  Never heard from her again.

Can't make this stuff up.

@Sally Oase

 Please do. After talking to the former landlord, it was as though she was talking about two totally different people than the ones I met today. She could tell me what jobs they would say they held (which they don't), and pretty much negated every thing they told me. To be sure that she wasn't biased against them, she recommended that I ask for the pay stubs to be sent to me by email/text to prove that he was working. I haven't heard from them since...

@Ursula B.

 That is pure foolishness!! I have another one who I think may be nuts. She came in with a whole story to explain why I won't be able to verify ANYTHING. This is proving to be harder than I thought, but this is what I want to do, so I will make it work!

Originally posted by @Marlene Michael :

@Ursula B.

 That is pure foolishness!! I have another one who I think may be nuts. She came in with a whole story to explain why I won't be able to verify ANYTHING. This is proving to be harder than I thought, but this is what I want to do, so I will make it work!

You will be able to verify one thing with that prospect suspect - that the applicant is a liar ;)

There's that song getting played on the radio "If your lips are moving, then you're lyin', lyin', lyin', babe" ...

Really glad to hear that you are able to get good screening and prevent loases. I am starting the same process this week for one of my units.

I made a mistake with a tenant that results in an eviction, and I made her pay for the background check. Her name on her driver's license was one letter off from the results, which were bad, but she insisted that was another person. Very long story short, it was her, and she was evicted after 10 months. 

What's disturbing is that I never got a landlord reference call about her, or another tenant that was evicted, or one that left thousands of dollars in damage after moving out. I always check now; I guess most landlords never do.

Make sure that when you advertise your property put they need verifiable income and references inc. current/past landlords.  It weeds the frauds out.

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