Why applicants decline an offered apartment

8 Replies

 I just had four consecutive applicants apply for, pay for their credit check,  pass screening, and then decline an one bedroom with den  apartment.. (This is why I don't pay for the credit check).   Here were their reasons:

Applicant 1 single woman separating from BF loves apartment, two days later emails to say she is going further north to be close to family.  (No problem but 2 days to decide this after you apply?)

Applicant 2 Woman and 3 year old ,  loves the apartment,  period details etc,  two days later says she doesn't want to be in a building with lead (ok by why are you looking at something built in the 1800s?)

Applicant 3 just decides not to move.   ( ok  this is a usual one but they usually decide before they put money out. )

Applicant 4  Single mom (best one yet),  Mom discovered she had another kid. really!  She applies with two kids and then says she has one out of area who may visit.  I make it clear that the apartment is MAX 3 people and the daughter had to visit only.  Suddenly she decided the daughter living with the dad might want to move back in with her so she declines.  (oh 2 of these kids are teenagers) in a one bedroom

Anyway I wonder if others have had a lot of declines post offer and the most common or most interesting reasons. I give people a time limit for accepting and lease signing and don't stop showing but this run of applicants made me tired. 

I've had people do that too. Life changes, and some of these people's lives are really up in the air. Money already spent isn't an issue if something comes up. I've started signing leases right away instead of just getting the non-refundable retainer to hold the apartment. That has made a big difference. I think a lot of times, even if they've paid for the background check, and the retainer, they are still apartment shopping for something better/closer, etc.

Originally posted by @Colleen F. :

Applicant 1 single woman separating from BF loves apartment, two days later emails to say she is going further north to be close to family.  (No problem but 2 days to decide this after you apply?)

Applicant 2 Woman and 3 year old ,  loves the apartment,  period details etc,  two days later says she doesn't want to be in a building with lead (ok by why are you looking at something built in the 1800s?)

Applicant 3 just decides not to move.   ( ok  this is a usual one but they usually decide before they put money out. )

Applicant 4  Single mom (best one yet),  Mom discovered she had another kid. really!  She applies with two kids and then says she has one out of area who may visit.  I make it clear that the apartment is MAX 3 people and the daughter had to visit only.  Suddenly she decided the daughter living with the dad might want to move back in with her so she declines.  (oh 2 of these kids are teenagers) in a one bedroom

...don't stop showing but this run of applicants made me tired. 

 Applicant 1: Flaky, plain and simple.  If she didn't back out, she'd probably be the one calling you because the flushing toilet is too loud.

Applicant 2: You know circa 1800 buildings might have lead -- young mom with young child knows the best diapers that are the most affordable, and what time Daniel Tiger comes on.  She just learned old buildings, specifically your old building, might have lead, HUGE RED SIRENS flashed in her protective-mommy brain, and she backed out without a second's hesitation.  Better for you she had this realization now and not two weeks after moving in.

Applicant 3: Another flake one.  Wow, two in one vacancy.  Still, once again, a break for you that she's not moving in.

Applicant 4: LIAR.  That's it.  She's a liar and this was simply the first of many lies you would have ended up catching her in.  You dodged a bullet here.  Congratulations on restating that point so she REALLY believed you meant it.

You're right.  I also keep the marketing going and keep accepting applicants until I have first month and deposit in my account.  I don't expect applicants to be considerate or responsible, and I'm (now) rarely disappointed in them.

Good luck,

sometimes they apply for a few places at once and go with the one that gets back to them first or the one they like the best

If your local market has a shortage of open apartments, people may be applying to multiple places even if they aren't sure they want it, in an attempt to secure housing.

@Randy E.   I am glad the ones that backed out did for sure. I  did not want 4 people in the apartment with a couple of them teenagers because of water use so I am glad I dodged that one.  and the lead if it is an issue, I'd rather know up front.   One of the things with this bunch is I gave them a timeline for response and every one that went past it didn't take the place so going forward I will decline if they don't respond in a timely way. 

@Andrew B. @Max T. affordable year round rentals are scarce here.

@Jennifer Rysdam   usually if I offer for this building I am the first choice which gets you used to people accepting. this was a wake up but life does change. I am glad I wasnt' paying credit checks this time.  

@Aaron Hunt   Yes. I have had a run on fickle I guess.  

I finally got an older guy call back who saw it 2 weeks ago and he says I can't get that apartment out of my mind and is it still available, signed the lease yesterday with the occupancy date I wanted so its all good.    

Originally posted by @Colleen F. :

@Randy E.   I am glad the ones that backed out did for sure. I  did not want 4 people in the apartment with a couple of them teenagers because of water use so I am glad I dodged that one.  and the lead if it is an issue, I'd rather know up front.   One of the things with this bunch is I gave them a timeline for response and every one that went past it didn't take the place so going forward I will decline if they don't respond in a timely way. 

@Andrew B. @Max T. affordable year round rentals are scarce here.

@Jennifer Rysdam   usually if I offer for this building I am the first choice which gets you used to people accepting. this was a wake up but life does change. I am glad I wasnt' paying credit checks this time.  

@Aaron Hunt  Yes. I have had a run on fickle I guess.  

I finally got an older guy call back who saw it 2 weeks ago and he says I can't get that apartment out of my mind and is it still available, signed the lease yesterday with the occupancy date I wanted so its all good.    

Share the wealth! I’ve just gone through 6 applications on one of my rentals recently.

Everyone seems to have a great sob story but then either crappy credit or questionable at best income. 

The one I accepted ghosted me as we were ready to collect the security deposit.

Don't sweat it. Tenant pays the application fee so you don't lose any money. Tired of losing time? Increase your application fee to cover the 15 - 30 minutes it takes you to process.

It's nothing worth stressing over.