Trust your Gut Feeling

1 Reply

So this just happened to me tonight.

I have owned my Duplex for the past year and I am under contract for a new property that I'm going to owner occupy.  My duplex is in a B- area I'd say.  I got one side rented out to a seemingly awesome normal tenant with a good background.  The first side was rented out after showing it twice.

The second side is still for rent and has been for a few days now, and I've probably showed it to about 7-8 groups of people.  This one man I showed it to was super interested, and upon meeting him, he seemed like a great normal guy looking for an inexpensive place to live in the area.  He assured me his background was clean and informed me ahead of time that is credit was quite poor.  I said "I can overlook that as long as you have no evictions, verifyable income, etc."  His credit was low 500's and his wives was mid 600's.  ehhhh....

The guy and his wife apply via the screening service I use,, and everything comes back looking normal.  Everything has come back and looks good except his background check (Sometimes this takes a bit longer so it's not too weird).  Finally, the next day the background check comes back and it shows an eviction from 2012.  I think "Goddamnit."  

I'm not sure why the guy even applied in the first place since I specifiied no evictions, but he immediately texted me once he realized this appeared on his background report and ofcourse gave me excuse after excuse saying "It never happened, I will get this settled".... Yeah okay.  I can just smell that this guy is lying but hey, I guess I'll go through the pain in the *** of calling every exact reference and seeing what the deal is.

I decide to give him a second chance and comb extensively through his and his wives references they provided.  I called:

- Previous property managers (couldn't get a hold of the "eviction" one, but another said they cuased no problems

- Previous and current employers.  Got general "yeah he worked here. yeah he was a good employee" responses.  Got the same from the references provided by the wife.

- I googled extensively to see if I could dig even further into this guy and find ANY OTHER red flags.  nothing popped up

I texted him back tonight saying "Hey Dave, you're good, I called your references and everything seems to add up.  You can come over and finalize the lease, however I will need first, last, AND deposit due to the eviction showing on your record from 2012"

The guy shows up at my property, and he has the signed lease with him and his Wife signing, and has the checks for the first months, last months, AND deposit.  I sign the lease with him but during the whole process I have the WORST GUT FEELING I've ever had in my life.  I feel as if I am signing my soul away as I sign this lease.  Also, the guy is rather stinky and smells like alcohol.

I signed the lease and the dude left, and I couldn't help but think this was the WRONG decision.  I immediately called him back and basically said "Hey, I hate to do this, but I just got a better applicant and I actually do not feel comfortable renting to you".  Ofcourse the guy was BEYOND PISSED, and it is indeed my fault for not eliminating him immediately after I saw the eviction pop up and I suspected him in general of being a compulsive liar.

But now I feel much better, and would rather have my property sit vacant for another week or two than rent to a potential constant headache.  I feel like I dodged a bullet.

I the point of this post is ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT.... and first and foremost have stricter screening parameters from the get-go to avoid such situations.  

What do you guys think about this whole ordeal?

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