potential tenant

8 Replies

I have a rental property that I have been working on. I had a contractor give a lady that was interested in the house my cell number and she has been calling me non stop ever since. The house is not quite ready , and I have told her that. I told her I will give her a call once its finished and she can come pick up an application . I was thinking I can just let her know any further discussion concerning this property can be conducted on my office line and give her that number.

@Jordan Marshall do you want her to call your office line and your cell phone non-stop?  My first thought is that it's a huge red flag that she wants to move in so badly.  There's a wide variety of awful reasons, none of which make her a great tenant.

In the future, don't let people give out your number ... maybe just tell them to look for the ad on the advertising platform of your choice.

I don't do referrals from friends or acquaintances.  When or if you have to make them move out in the future you become the bad guy because they will then bad mouth you to their friends.  Whoever is the better story teller (or liar as the case may be) becomes the good guy.  I'd say avoid this tenant or disqualify them for being high maintenance.  You'll be getting calls every day they live there too.  "The sink drips", "the toilet's clogged again"...  just imagine!

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Yeah i just wasn't sure how to disqualify her "legally" and what to tell her. I have told all contractors to NOT give out my cell number in the future. Thank you for your response . I think that she is in a time crunch but that is no reason to repeatedly call me.

Open and honest communication is best.  

Explain to her that the contractor was mistaken about the availability of the house.  Inform her that if and when the house goes on the rental market you'll be advertising it in your usual manner. Since you already took down her name and number and promised to call her as soon as the house is "finished" and available to rent, then follow-through on that promise.

Politely, but firmly, tell her not to call your mobile number again. Let her know the contractor was wrong to give it out, as it's not for public use. If you have a different number you use for leasing information and with the public, I would give her that number. 

Treat her as you would with any potential renter.  Politely and fairly. If she calls the office number, then you can do a pre-screening interview with her by phone. You and she may find out she doesn't meet your minimum criteria to rent. Follow your written rental criteria and be sure it's not in violation of any fair housing laws. If she doesn't qualify, let her know so she can move on with her housing search.

In a tight housing market it's not unusual for a people to try to get a jump on a property before it's advertised on the open market. It is also not unusual for those seeking housing to call multiple times and to try to get a look inside a property that is undergoing renovation.

Whenever we are working on a house, we let the contractors know not to engage in conversations with the public or let the public onto the property. Too much risk and liability. We also don't want to lose out on good prospective tenants, so sometimes we have some of our business cards available for contractors to give to those who inquire.

Not much you can do if she won't listen but she sounds like a tenant that could be a PITA.

No reason to be concerned about "legally" disqualifying her. When you start taking applications pick the one you want and inform her you have selected someone else. No reason required.

Totally agree that she seems like a PITA tenant, and that is one aspect we look at when screening applicants.  If she is pestering you now, she will keep pestering you through the entire duration.

Our first tenant found us and we felt so blessed.  We screened them, but not very well.  They still get the prize for being one of our worst tenants.  She might be aggressive because she can't qualify anywhere else and is looking for a naive landlord.

Focus on your screening process and criteria as you finish getting the unit ready, it is way more important than how the property looks.

Thanks for all of the responses. The house is available as of today . I called her to pre-screen and so far everything is checking out . I think by me calling her and letting her know not to call my cell relayed the message that she over-stepped. 

Originally posted by @Jordan Marshall :

Thanks for all of the responses. The house is available as of today . I called her to pre-screen and so far everything is checking out . I think by me calling her and letting her know not to call my cell relayed the message that she over-stepped. 

 It's funny how sometimes I think a story equals a nightmare applicant and sometimes not.  When I read your story, I actually first though that this person may just really want that unit and doesn't want to lose out on the opportunity.  And I thought, heck, if she checks out, you won't even have to advertise it.

This was the blessing of having a waiting list for me.  It's great to have applicants you can check out without having to deal with screening callers.

Of course, I don't know what the interaction with this person was like for you - if she sounded desperate or whiney, etc.  Sounds like she respected your request to quit calling your cell phone, though.  Hope she ends up working out for you.  Wouldn't that be easy peasy?