Let me know if I am being taken for a fool.

16 Replies

What's up BP,

So I finally got my rental property squared away with just a few more repairs to handle.. This was a foreclosure that I completely remodled, and it's a fairly decent home.

Now here is my dilmena, I thought I had found the perfect tenants, their references checked out and they were moving to be closer to their daughters school.

Well, I should've known there was a problem given they were so anxious to move in without a lease or anything so they wanted me to let them move in on this Monday when we discussed that their move in date was sept 3. That was the planned date for the move in because it gave me and my guys a buffer to get the house move in ready. So this is strike one.

It gets even better...

Strike two is that they kind of tricked me into saying I'd take less than what I was offering for rent. They had called about a month ago stating they would move in for 100 less and I might have said yes or not, but I don't remember but they brought that up and said they would only pay the 900 a month. Uhmm, I've had about 20 apps on this house and they were all willing to offer over 1000' but whatever.

Strike three, they can't pay me when they move in on this Monday, only on sept 7 can they pay me. But they want to pay from sept 3 even though they want to move in on this Monday.

Strike 4, they gave ,e the deposit but now they want to reduce the deposit.

There isn't a lease or anything, just a check.

Can I just say no, I don't want to lease to you all. You've caused me 4 headaches and you're not even in the house yet!

If they can't come up with the money on time then don't let them move in!

When I collect the holding deposit I have them sign a written agreement that they forfeit that deposit if they do not pay, sign a lease and move in by X date....

If you don't have a written agreement I suppose you could still keep the deposit since they are unable to perform their part of the deal, and you held the place off the market for them. Check your state's landlord/tenant statutes to see if this issue is covered there.

On the other hand, it could be a good idea to just give the deposit back and be done with these people, and do things in a more organized manner with the next tenants.

It certainly sounds like you're being taken advantage of. But, this isn't their fault -- it's yours. You're allowing it to happen.

You need to be perfectly clear with them (and yourself) when the move-in date is, what the rent is, and what the deposit is. The deposit should be paid now (or at very latest when the lease is signed) to hold the spot for when they're ready to move in. The lease needs to be signed immediately. And the first month's rent needs to be paid when they get the keys, which should be the possession date on the lease.

Don't be willing to change any of these terms, especially since you seem to have a lot of other interested potential tenants. If these tenants can't live up to the terms you've set forth, dump them.
Being a landlord isn't overly complicated, but it does require that you be willing to be inflexible and put your foot down when someone takes advantage of you. If you can't do this, perhaps find a property manager to manage the property for you.

I would say never let anyone move in without paying the deposit and the first month's rent IN FULL. If they can't come up with the first month, the next 11 probably won't be any better.

I always try to advertise and show my property 30 days before the tenants move out, as stated in the lease. People looking a month in advance are much more organized and reliable in general. Always be wary of tenants who want to move right in. There has to be a reason that they're so desperate for housing, and it's usually bad.

Everyone has given great advice, one thing I will add is when you collect some deposit for the apartment, have the tenants sign a documents saying that if they don't come up with rest of the money by a certain date and are unable to move in by the move-in date, they lose their deposit. This will separate the really serious applicants from the ones who are trying to take advantage of you.

And also make sure the amount of the holding deposit is no less than the prorated rent from the day they give you deposit till the move-in date.

Good luck!

Strike two is that they kind of tricked me into saying I'd take less than what I was offering for rent. They had called about a month ago stating they would move in for 100 less and I might have said yes or not, but I don't remember but they brought that up and said they would only pay the 900 a month. Uhmm, I've had about 20 apps on this house and they were all willing to offer over 1000' but whatever.

But whatever?!? You are already throwing away $1200 in income? Why are these tenants so special that they get a discount when you have 20 apps?

If no lease is signed, tell them to take a hike.

J Scott hit it on the head, you are allowing them to take advantage of you.

They are probably just thinking up more stuff to ask for since you keep crumbling and continue to make concessions on every item.

Give them an inch and they will take a mile!

Nightmare story from some friends with their first (and last) rental. A group, supposedly 3 individuals in their mid 20's to mid 30's, shows up at the house in a U-Haul with all their belongings. My friends let them move in on the spot. I can't even begin to describe the destruction, drug dealing, sex on the deck, etc. Never got a penny out of them and took 7 months to get them out (my friends fault). What a disaster.

Extreme example of needing to move-in immediately. Red Flags x1000!

Go with your gut. If you have to ask us, you probably know the answer and just are bummed you already know you shouldn't let them. Think of all the work you have done. Getting a bad tennant out is much harder than letting it sit and wait for a good one.

Wait and don't do it. Have a lease, get proper deposits and rent. Stick with your first instinct. Just my two cents.

Originally posted by Justin F.:
What's up BP,

So I finally got my rental property squared away with just a few more repairs to handle.. This was a foreclosure that I completely remodled, and it's a fairly decent home.

Now here is my dilmena, I thought I had found the perfect tenants, their references checked out and they were moving to be closer to their daughters school.

Well, I should've known there was a problem given they were so anxious to move in without a lease or anything so they wanted me to let them move in on this Monday when we discussed that their move in date was sept 3. That was the planned date for the move in because it gave me and my guys a buffer to get the house move in ready. So this is strike one.

It gets even better...

Strike two is that they kind of tricked me into saying I'd take less than what I was offering for rent. They had called about a month ago stating they would move in for 100 less and I might have said yes or not, but I don't remember but they brought that up and said they would only pay the 900 a month. Uhmm, I've had about 20 apps on this house and they were all willing to offer over 1000' but whatever.

Strike three, they can't pay me when they move in on this Monday, only on sept 7 can they pay me. But they want to pay from sept 3 even though they want to move in on this Monday.

Strike 4, they gave ,e the deposit but now they want to reduce the deposit.

There isn't a lease or anything, just a check.

Can I just say no, I don't want to lease to you all. You've caused me 4 headaches and you're not even in the house yet!

These are professional con artists and you need to just say no! I get them from time to time and I just firmly say not interested. If you are adamant about refusing them, they will eventually go away.

When I have someone who wants me to hold a property, and we're close enough to when they plan to move in that I'm willing to do it (a week or so, at most,) I require a non refundable deposit to hold. Its the same as the deposit. They sign a document stating it is non refundable under any circumstances. The document has a lease signing/move in date. If they don't sign a lease by that date, the deposit is mine and I start calling anyone on my waiting list and start marketing the property again.

When a tenant actually signs the lease and gets the keys they must pay one full months rent plus the deposit. In cash or money order. No checks.

The first qualified person or group to sign a lease and pay or to sign the non-refundable deposit and pay gets the place.

Them's the rules. They get told that right up front. No money no lease and no moving in.

Kick these guys to the curb. I don't know why you're even messing with them if you have other calls.

They are trying to manipulate you. If you think it is bad now just wait.

Tell them you are sorry but this deal isn't going to work, wish them well, and say good bye.

I call these red flags. One thing I don't think anyone pointed out and I highly suggest you do in your rental program; never accepted the deposit in anything other than cash, money order, or cashier's check. I also don't let them move in until it has cleared the bank.

I never 'work with tenants'. It is a job I don't want or need and quite frankly, it sounds like it doesn't pay very well.

They pay the full deposit up front, before move in, or they don't get a move in date.

Thanks for all the help people! I did allow it to happen. I guess I was strung on my first rental property and forgot that while I was trying to be nice, any glimmer of sincerity was/is a sign of weakness in some eyes.

Well, lesson learned, I must stay firmed in my dealings. :oops: