Could use some insight

7 Replies

Hi all, 

Could use some insight from those with some more experience. I have a rental on the market that is going to be available Oct 1. Property management had found a tenant that met screening, and today tenant deposited $50 less than what was posted as security deposit. Tenant then said she was under the impression that the rent was what she deposited, not what is clearly posted and that that is all she can afford. 

This seems like a red flag to me, and potential sign of a problematic tenant. Any one have experience with this before, or am I looking at this too cynically? I am currently weighing the potential decisions on how to move forward against each other: 

1)Accept the $50 less than posted and place a tenant that met all screening criteria.

2)put the home back on the market for the listing price and risk vacancy.

3) propose that we agree on a rent in between, which would be $25 less than the original listing price. 

In a lot of @Brandon Turner 's publications, he mentions training the tenant properly. I worry that by accepting what the tenant mistakenly thought the rent was would set the wrong precedent, but then again, won't have the vacancy issue. 

Thanks for the insight all!

@Patrick Ng this person told you they could not afford the posted rate. Seems like there is a disconnect somewhere in the chain. If they passed the screening I am to assume they met the income requirements also. If they can't afford the rent on month one what are the chances of that changing? Seems a bit off to me.

How long was it on the market? Have you had more than one person interested? 

You may risk vacancy for another month (maybe) or you can sign up for a awful tenant for the next 12 months plus. 

@Alexander Wardell

Seems a bit off to me too. Apparently there was an incorrect listing out there that published the wrong rent, which is what she was going off of. 

It was on the market for 2 weeks now, Oct 1 move in date. There have been a few people interested when the listing went live, now a little less traffic. 

@Patrick Ng how are you marketing the property? Refresh the listing and attempt to draw more attention. Were any of the other interested people qualified and passed over for this person in the question? Could you contact them to ask if they are still interested? Just throwing out ideas. If you made her aware of the listing mistake and she still cant afford the price I would not settle and give her a discount. 

That is my two cents! Hope it all works out for you and you are not sharing a awful eviction story 3 months down the road! 

@Patrick Ng - if the ad she responded to showed the rent as $50 less than you're expecting, that's a management error. You can explain it to her, but she basically self-screened and told you that she can't afford the rent. I think you got lucky- if $50 is make or break for her, she probably isn't in a stable situation. It's my experience that when you have problems before the lease begins, you'll have problems for the duration.

I'd give her the deposit back and find another resident.

Sorry for the double post, @Patrick Ng - it reminds me of a situation ten years ago when I was self-managing one of my properties(really lending a hand to the manager.) The rent on a cruddy studio was $500 or so, and a prospect called me and said she'd like to see the place, but she could only afford to pay $400. I said, "If you can't afford the apartment, why are you calling about it?" She mumbled something, and that was that.

I suspect she expected a different response from me. I'm not much of a haggler, I guess.