Should I even bother to call this person back ?

21 Replies

I just had an inquiry thru zillow about a 2/1 I have for rent .  The first thing I do is look them up on Maryland Judicial search.  Checking criminal history .........  Drug dealing 4 times , assault and battery 2 times , domestic violence 4 times , IRS lien over 10K ,  failure to pay child support 10 times , and only 1 Failure to pay rent .  

Should I even Bother calling the person back ? 

Woah! If I were you, I would never rent my place to someone with that kind of a history even if the place goes without rent.
Originally posted by @Prashant Sharma :
Woah! If I were you, I would never rent my place to someone with that kind of a history even if the place goes without rent.

My criteria doesnt allow it  .        I didnt include the 25 or so traffic  citations in the list

@Matthew Paul - so many things on one person's record... Gives me the creeps. I don't know if this is the right thing on a logical level, but just to give me peace of mind I would steer clear of this person. Not calling back sounds like a great plan! :)

Originally posted by @Henri Meli :

@Matthew Paul How desperate are you to rent the place? 

I am never desperate to rent anything .  

I have a document titled “Preliminary Rental Questionnaire” that asks a few of the more important questions from my rental application which I send to every single person that applies for my rentals, regardless of criminal history (we can see judgments against any Wisconsin resident as soon as we know their name). I do this to avoid any kind of fair housing violation claims. But if they fill out the questionnaire honestly and have evictions or money judgments, I have just cause to deny. If they fill it out dishonestly, I know they were dishonest and I again have just cause to deny.

I should say I send it to anyone that contacts me about a rental, before the application process. Whether it’s a phone call, email or message from zillow

Wrong side of the Potomac river lol my tenants only need to google if they’re GS 14 or 15

Only one failure to pay rent...did the report mention that the landlord vanished and has not been heard from.

I would call him back just to get a few laughs listening to why he believes I should rent to him.

Only if you have several bags of potato chips around the house!

@Matthew Paul   I know you're an experienced landlord so I don't believe you're really considering calling this person back.  That's quite a criminal history though! 

Funny thing is, out of everything that you dug up on this person, the one that would worry me the most is the failure to pay child support.  I once took an ex-tenant to court, got a sizable judgment as well as a court order allowing me to garnish their wages to collect what I was owed.  However, I soon found out that the person already had a child support judgment and their wages were already being garnished for that.  I learned that virtually nothing trumps a child support garnishment, so I had to get in line.  I ultimately got all my money...it just took a little longer.

Anyway, good job on the preliminary research so you can avoid wasting any more of your time on this person.

I always call everyone back simply to prevent any kind of discrimination . Your screening and background checks should keep them at bay.

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

I just had an inquiry thru zillow about a 2/1 I have for rent .  The first thing I do is look them up on Maryland Judicial search.  Checking criminal history .........  Drug dealing 4 times , assault and battery 2 times , domestic violence 4 times , IRS lien over 10K ,  failure to pay child support 10 times , and only 1 Failure to pay rent .  

Should I even Bother calling the person back ? 

 Just call them back?  I'd hope to have them  moving in by tomorrow!  They sound perfect. LOL

I do the same thing. Someone will respond to my ad and answer my questions via anonymous email and I'll look 'em up.  Too bad they had a  number to call you. No way would I call them back, or in my case, reply by email. Will Zillow allow you to ask questions and only respond via anonymous email like Craigslist does?

I doubt you get messed with by applicants like this.  I appreciate you sharing your look them up right away tip! Better to find out early before they know the property address and your ph#.

I really hope this is satire because if not you should really get your tenant criteria in check. I’m gonna assume it was just to be funny though.

@Michael Lewis  I posted it , and have my criteria all in writing .  No satire , the guy inquired , I ran his name thru the MD court system and thats what I came up with .  The name is not ordinary and only 1 person came up with that name  The phone number is a Wash DC area code and all the crimes were in MD counties just outside DC . 

The house I am renting is in a B area .  Now this isnt the worst record I have seen .  

"The first thing I do is look them up on Maryland Judicial search" 

I'm curious, how do you know 100% that the person you see from your search, is one in the same? You have no Birthday or SSN to even be sure it's the same person. 

It's tactics like this that causes landlords to get a bad rep. Respond this person and if you have a strong application process. You will have nothing to worry about.

@Tim Miller  100% sure , no .  But when your name is Tom Smith its difficult . But when your name is something out of the ordinary , and then there is only 1 person with that name on the court records  , you are pretty close 

@Matthew Paul , Use your intuition. That's the best way to go! You know the answer.
Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

I just had an inquiry thru zillow about a 2/1 I have for rent .  The first thing I do is look them up on Maryland Judicial search.  Checking criminal history .........  Drug dealing 4 times , assault and battery 2 times , domestic violence 4 times , IRS lien over 10K ,  failure to pay child support 10 times , and only 1 Failure to pay rent .  

Should I even Bother calling the person back ? 

 I wouldn’t waste the time to take the phone out of my pocket much less call back.

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