Does this smell funny?

13 Replies

I have a new tenant, about to move in September 1st. I've had a few interactions with her that baffled me, ok, no, the made me think "WTF!?"

One, they had a house nearby a couple of years ago (verified this), took a bath selling it, moved to FL then moved back within a year. I never could really get the reason out of her. Two, Husband is still in FL and supposedly moving back here soon, but she and their son have been back here over a year? I ran her credit check, which was great ( but lot's of CC debt, I mean TONS), all affordable (making minimum payments) with her and her husbands wages. Then during her pre-move, walk-through she kept expressing worry that the basement and garage didn't have enough storage for their stuff... It's a 800 sq. ft. basement, and a 1 car garage and lot's of attic space. At this point I am thinking "How much STUFF could you possibly have!?!?" 

Am I just being paranoid or is something just not clicking here? 

Hmm... I'm not too familiar with landlording since I don't have my own property yet but I think its fair to sound suspicious. If you're worried about a hoarder moving in just highlight in casual conversation the requirement in your lease about keeping a safe and clean habitable arrangement. Safe can mean limited fire hazards and such. Clean can mean garbage taken out, etc.... not sure how far you can imply those things and what you should spell out clearly. If you've clearly got it spelled out what is and what isn't allowed in your rental perhaps she'll simply decline herself if she doesn't think she can meet your strict standards you stick by and enforce!

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@Dawn Anastasi  my assumption is that she's been able to maintain her credit because of a combined income from her husband. It's a fishy situation because your gambling on the fact that both tenants will maintain their jobs and continue to make the same income. Does the tenant have any past history as a renter? If so did she provide references? I'd check those if so. 

@Sandy Spence did you verify husbands employment? Where will he work when moving back? Can wife afford rent without husband? What did references say? Something seems fishy but doesn't sound like a scam.

Whenever a tenant expresses that they have "lots of stuff", I throw into the conversation a reminder that there is self-storage nearby for things that they don't need to use regularly.  Better for their stuff to be elsewhere in case it doesn't work out ...

I wouldn't get rid of them yet. But explain to her that you don't allow hoarding and that there can only be boxes of stuff in the garage, basement, and attic (I don't allow people in my attics I don' trust them to not fall through the ceiling). That you do inspections of your rentals and if someone is a hoarder they will be evicted. Let her disqualify herself if she thinks you are going to have a problem with your rules.

@Kimberly H.  - careful there, hoarders are a protected class since hoarding was declared a disability a couple of years back. Of course, you are allowed to establish a strict set of housekeeping rules that all tenants must abide by, yet you have to also consider that "reasonable accommodations" might have to be made. 

That is a separate discussion that should be taken to this other thread:

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