Would you accept this tenant?

10 Replies

A gentleman called, and asked if he could rent my townhouse over the phone.

Said that his employer would pay for the rent, and the monthly rent would be directly deposited into my bank account.
Also said that he'd like to sign a 2-year lease.

Red flags for me are:
1. Is it safe to give out your bank account info, for the tenant to pay for rent?

I've heard sometimes it's possible for an individuel to take money out of your checking account, if he/she knows the routing & account number, w/o an actual check.
I've also heard that in some states, as long as the tenant wires a portion of the rent into your account, you can't evict them, even though the amount isn't the full rent.

2. The guy's currently working out of state, so I guess he has legitimate reason not being able to see the place in person, which would also give me a chance to check him out.
However, it's definitely not ideal to rent to someone w/o meeting him in person.

On the other side, I'm attracted to the 2-year lease, and my place has been vacant for a month, and I need to fill it soon.

What do you guys think?
Would you rent to this guy or no?


Have you spoken to past references? Have you spoken with his work about them paying the rent (are they a legitimate company)? Has he been evicted? Did you do a full background check? If you can't answer all of those questions with the right answer, then I'd say no.

I know you can put language in  your lease which says that partial acceptance of rent does not make eviction impossible, but I don't know how well that will hold up in court. You could always use a site like dwolla.com or even paypal to accept payments then you don't have to worry about them taking money out of your account. I don't know if they can pull funds from your account without your permission.

If you are still looking for a renter than you aren't advertising well enough or your priced too high. Lowering the rent by $50/mo and losing $600/year is way better than needing to evict, having your money stolen, house ruined, etc.

Personally, if it were me and you had any doubts but you really wanted to get this guy in, get him in on a month to month lease, so if there are issues, you just issue a 30 day notice to quit/vacate, then you'll have a much easier time to evict, since you don't need a reason, it's just a non-renewal. Then if you like them you can always have them re-up in a few months for a full 2 year term.

Have you done a criminal background check? Credit check? Salary verification? Those are pretty big factors when considering entering into a lease agreement. 

Where did you post it for rent? There are alot of scams that are originated through craigslist. I had a similar scam it sounded to good to be true with one of my rentals. They wanted to wire money, needed bank info of mine. Did he have a foreign accent? Do your back ground checks meet face to face. I would be hesitant if I were you.

Sign up for a property management software site like


Yes, its possible that this may work for you. Complete an application, do a criminal background check, verify employment, rental history, verify pay, and prior evictions for this applicant. 

Get a copy of his drivers license, social security card, paycheck, ect.  And do everything you can to vet this tenant.  Renting to someone without actually meeting them can work.  Receive electronic payments online through your property management site or if he needs to pay cash, sign up for: http://paynearme.com/.

Never give out any bank information,personal information or rent to someone over the internet I don't know but if this from craiglist it is a scam.

I'd treat this individual like any other potential tenant. I'd have have complete an application, along with proof of employment (pay stubs) and bank statements. I'd conduct a background check- You can use Cozy.co to accept an online application along with the credit and background check. It is free for you and will cost him about $35. There are other companies that perform this service for landlords as well. Make sure you get a copy of his ID to make sure he is who he says he is. With respect to the payment through his employer, will the company cosign on the lease? Will they expect to be able to replace this tenant with another employee? You want to make sure this is all legit and you aren't dealing with a professional tenant. Proceed with caution.

I have a friend who has had very good success with renting to out of state people.  He focus's on listing the properties at large corporations around town so people who are visiting the campus and are transferring see the listings and not knowing anywhere else to look start on there postings boards.  That being said... your situation is a little different, check all his references, employer (online and calling them) verify absolutely everything you can about the person as well as a credit check (gives proof he's using a real social security #).  I would make him pay with a cashiers or personal check for the first month before giving any information out to him such as your bank account #.

Thank you all for your replies!

Craigslist has one simple rule for avoiding scams- only do business locally with people you can meet in person...

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

Craigslist has one simple rule for avoiding scams- only do business locally with people you can meet in person...

At my rental showing two months ago, one applicant was talking about responding to an ad on CL where the alleged landlord said they were out of state and "just peek in the windows to see if you like it."  He suggested that if they were interested in renting, that they send him a cashiers check and he'd send the keys. People need to be careful on both sides of a rental transaction.

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