Declining an applicant for being a jerk?

4 Replies

Is it wrong or not allowed to decline a potential tenant if I think they are a jerk, even if totally qualified? Kind of funny, but I figured if they are a jerk on the front end, I don't want them in my house. And being a jerk is not a protected class. Also while on the subject, is it illegal to require your tenants to be able to speak English clearly enough for me to communicate directly with them (and not a random family member not living there) in order for approval of tenancy? I have no reason or interest in discriminating, but I do have reason to be cautious if I cannot communicate with my tenants. Love to get your thoughts.

I would create your own sheet of minimum requirements. Once category could be based on character. If they fall short on your minimum qualification for character you do not have to rent to them. I wouldn't share you scoring sheet with the potential tenants, but I would use it. 

You are correct that attitude is not a protected class. 

We had one person who was such a pain (after approval and move in) that we offered them a discount in rent to be civilized.  They declined!!  HA ha,  We told them all communication had to be in writing so we could have clear documentation of any and all of their problems.  After the year, We did not renew the lease 

Jerks are not a protected class. Once they are in, they are hard to get rid of.

If you screen people based on their ability to speak clearly, that could be seen as discrimination against National Origin or race. I recommend you stay away from that.

I recently had some Vietnamese renting from me. I required them to communicate in writing because I couldn't understand 80% of the words they said. They pretended to understand me but I could tell from their behavior that I wasn't making sense to them.

We had a kid who had just graduated from law school look at one of our apartments and demanded to rewrite our lease..........
He had his mom call and ask if we would reconsider him after we told him we weren’t interested in renting to him. Save yourself time and headache

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