Don't rent to strippers, hair stylists, or people on disability

57 Replies

Just a tip for you all starting out… Don't rent to strippers, hair stylists, bartenders etc…  If they are in the cash business, they are uncollectable.  You need to find someone with a good job that is not worth leaving because the have a garnishment.  Learned this a long time ago.  A good tenant is going good until they go rogue.  Get your deposit, cleaning fee and water deposit upfront.  Don't let them screw you over in the end - because they will.

Any other 'types' of tenants you don't like to rent to?

@Rob K.  has some that he will probably share, along with some amusing anecdotal reasons. 

Keep in mind that some jurisdictions do not allow discrimination based on "source of income". It is not common yet but it does exist in some areas. 

Medium crab1 copyNed Carey, Crab Properties LLC | http://baltimorerealestateinvestingblog.com/

Originally posted by @Ned Carey :

Keep in mind that some jurisdictions do not allow discrimination based on "source of income". It is not common yet but it does exist in some areas. 

Although that is true and is becoming more common as other states and municipalities pass such regulations, you can still require that the income be DOCUMENTED; so a cash occupation would have to be declaring that income for tax purposes - many will be tax evaders and not report all cash received. 

IRS form 4506-T gets used to show a transcript of past tax returns. 

Some of those people are problem tenants but I do rent to people on disability.  My disability tenants all get their check on the 3rd and pay me the day it comes in, they are generally some of my best tenants.  

I have yet to have a stripper apply that didn't have a lengthy arrest record (generally drugs and prostitution) that disqualified her long before her source of income was considered.  

@Patrick L.  - the reasoning behind avoiding those in disability is not always income based. Those disabled people can be home for many more hours of the day since they have no job to go to, and that results in more wear and tear (and utility usage as well, for any utilities built into the rent).

Do you not experience that? It's what I have observed ...

@Mike Williams  blanket statements are dangerous. These are typically jobs of single and young mothers, be careful what you say. Just my .02 cents. Fair Housing has all kinds of new grants to go after people. Not saying they can for that, just dont make yourself a target for them. 

especially seeing as how you put your full name and location here. I would be a simple google search would bring up this forum with your comments that could be used against you....

@Jeremy Tillotson  and @Brandon M.  - I didn't see any protected classes mentioned there in the OP. Those types of employment could be included as part of rental qualification / disqualification criteria. 

Landscapers and attorneys are other employment types that people exclude. 

Updated about 3 years ago

Need to correct, that the employments mentioned in the OP did not refer to any protected class. Disability is considered a protected class.

wow. Some of you are pretty sensitive. My point is that they need to be collectible. You cannot garnish wages of those who do not report income. Also, you cannot garnish wages from people on disability. I had someone on "disability"  that was growing weed in my basement. I kicked them out and got a judgement. I wasn't able to collect  since they were on disability and didn't have a tax refund. If you don't like my post, then proceed as you wish. Just words from an experience investor looking to make your life easier. 

Originally posted by @Jeremy Tillotson :

@Mike Williams blanket statements are dangerous. These are typically jobs of single and young mothers, be careful what you say. Just my .02 cents. Fair Housing has all kinds of new grants to go after people. Not saying they can for that, just dont make yourself a target for them. 

 Thx for the 2 cents. 

Originally posted by @Steve Babiak :

@Patrick L. - the reasoning behind avoiding those in disability is not always income based. Those disabled people can be home for many more hours of the day since they have no job to go to, and that results in more wear and tear (and utility usage as well, for any utilities built into the rent).

Do you not experience that? It's what I have observed ...

 Most of my tenants on disability are older and are generally pretty quiet.  The ones I have in my multi-family units are always the ones that go above and beyond taking care of the property doing things like picking up trash, raking leaves, pulling weeds, and planting flowers. Yes they are home all day but they also tend don't do anything too wild.  I have also found in my experience they are less likely to move out, some of my longest term tenants are on disability.   The biggest gripe I have with them is they have a lot of free time and tend to nit pick and find little things that they want fixed (a small tear in a screen, a drawer that doesn't open perfectly, etc).   Those items go on the low-priority list and get fixed eventually and they're happy.  I don't include power in any of my units but do include water in the multis (in my city we can only get 1 water meter per property).  Their usage may be a bit higher but  probably costs me more more than $10/month over the average tenant.  Generally whenever anything is free or included in the rent the tenants are all going to use far more than they would otherwise.  Here in FL you would go broke if you included electricity because they'd have the A/C running 24/7 9 months a year.  

Originally posted by @Mike Williams :

wow. Some of you are pretty sensitive. My point is that they need to be collectible. You cannot garnish wages of those who do not report income. Also, you cannot garnish wages from people on disability. I had someone on "disability"  that was growing weed in my basement. I kicked them out and got a judgement. I wasn't able to collect  since they were on disability and didn't have a tax refund. If you don't like my post, then proceed as you wish. Just words from an experience investor looking to make your life easier. 

 That's also not a consideration for me.  Here in FL it's impossible to garnish wages on a judgement.  If the person is the "head of household" you cannot do it.  If they're not the head of household they have to make a certain amount of money AND consent to the garnishment.   Basically if someone leaves owing me money I know I'm not going to get it, so my focus is on finding the tenant that has the best ability to pay their rent each month on time and not worry about any judgements and if I will be able to collect them. 

My maintenance guy just got a call from the person you should not rent from.  I have a pending eviction and the Sheriff posted the 24 hour notice to vacate after the tenant was defaulted last week and a wirt of possession issued.  The tenant called my maintenance guy this morning (he fields most tenant phone calls, I self manage but 80% of my tenants don't have my number) telling him that she just got home and there was a 24 hour notice to get out and that's unreasonable and she doesn't have anyone to help her move so she needs a couple more weeks.  He told her that it's in the Sheriff's hands and he has nothing to do with it.

A half hour later he got a call from a different woman saying she'd like to rent the house at that address.  The house isn't listed for rent.  She said she's been storing some stuff there and staying there "sometimes" and she loves the house.  She would like to take it as is, we wouldn't even have to come in there and touch a single thing.  That's the tenant you don't rent to.....unless you want to pay to evict the same people twice in a year. 

Originally posted by @Mike Williams :

Just a tip for you all starting out… Don't rent to strippers, hair stylists, bartenders etc…  If they are in the cash business, they are uncollectable.  You need to find someone with a good job that is not worth leaving because the have a garnishment.  Learned this a long time ago.  A good tenant is going good until they go rogue.  Get your deposit, cleaning fee and water deposit upfront.  Don't let them screw you over in the end - because they will.

Any other 'types' of tenants you don't like to rent to?

 Three words -L.S.D - large security deposit.  On a typical rental property of ours that rents for say $1100 a month, the security deposit is $2500, 1st months rent and security is due by certified funds, no move in unless all paid in full. In addition you stay on top of a brand new tenant in those most important first 3 months of the lease, keep them in line, watch out for any warning signs, squash any issues like a bug and be ready to evict at one false move made by them.

I don't  put a lot of faith in 'collectable' versus 'uncollectable' tentants as almost everyone is uncollectable to one degree or another. If I only rented to guaranteed 'collectable' tenants I'd have no tenants. 

Not saying you don't screen tenants based on legitimate and legal qualifications, but I'll take any stripper, hair stylist, waitress etc... with a good set of verifiable rental references over just a blanket policy. 

As I have to explain to friends all the time when they get good laughs about stories I tell them about past tenants and the crazy stuff they do- Renters are renters for a reason. I try to always keep that in mind and perspective. If they didn't have their own special set of issues they would be home owners instead of renters in the first place.

@Mike Williams    - are you even allowed to garnish wages for unpaid rent in NC? Doesn't work here in FL and pretty sure it isn't allowed in NC either. Placing a judgment on someone's credit is different than the ability to garnish wages. I have had tenants in NC that I had to evict, I decided not to even place a judgment on their credit because I couldn't garnish wages and that was just throwing good money after bad. Just chalked it up to a bad process of verifying a tenant and knowing that someone who is a "professional tenant" who skips from house to house cheating landlords out of money to the extent allowed by law will get what is coming to them in due time. 

I have a tenant on disability, a tenant on section 8, and even a tenant that works as a "dancer". So far, they've all been lovely!

In Maryland, one could file a money judgement separate of rent court so that you'd have a better chance of getting your money back once they're evicted. I've yet to do this, and haven't even needed to file for rent court lately. *knock on wood*

Nicole A., New Page LLC | [email protected] | 305‑537‑6252

We got paid for a months rent from a certain tenant(cute young lady). After I got the 350 one dollar bills, I thought to myself - I wonder where those bills had been. I went and washed my hands.

She might have worked at a certain type of establishment, but she was a prompt paying the rent. (In small bills)

@Mike Williams  , I'm not a lawyer so this isn't legal advice, but it would seem that you're bordering on blatantly discriminating against people with disabilities by excluding them out of hand. It's one thing to expect your tenants to have documented and IRS reported income (you're totally right that many tip based jobs don't report a substantial amount), it's another to state that anyone receiving disability payments will be denied.  Fair housing laws are pretty clear that those with disabilities are a protected class. 

As @Ned Carey   points out, a substantial number of areas do have income discrimination laws that prevent landlords from discriminating against fixed incomes (including the entire state of CA). Some of those laws also make it illegal to deny applicants based on other forms of public assistance (such as Section 8). Just be careful that your blanket policies aren't misinterpreted as discrimination, or are copied by others here where they are against the law. 

lol @Arlan Potter  Did this girl not know how to exchange bills or have her job exchange for her? That's funny.

Nicole A., New Page LLC | [email protected] | 305‑537‑6252

The Fair Housing Act, as amended in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination based on disability. It is unlawful to "discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence."

It even requires landlords to make reasonable exceptions in their policies and operations to afford people with disabilities equal housing opportunities and reasonable access-related modifications to their private living space, as well as to common use spaces (landlord is not required to pay for the changes.)

I understand that the intent is not to discriminate based on the disability itself, however, since the tenant's income source is controlled by his disability, I think the HUD Office of Fair Housing would pursue fines and damages against a landlord who denied a tenant because "you cannot garnish wages from people on disability." That distinction seems tenuously semantic and would most likely be viewed as discriminatory.

Also, if the disabled individual has good credit, favorable rental references, and a security deposit, the risk of having to garnish wages would be no greater than any other tenant.  That should be the guide for all tenants.  You should plan to cover any lost time for eviction proceedings, not to garnish wages in order to collect.

If you were my client, I would advise you to screen carefully, but eliminate "disabled" from your list of persons "not to rent to."  Oh, and lawyers too, LOL!

Medium red truck investments logo 2Brian Tome, Red Truck Investments, LLC | [email protected] | 443‑877‑9050

I agree with the statements here that not accepting disability could be viewed as discriminating against the disabled.  Also, as someone else pointed out, some areas prohibit discrimination based on 'source of income' so you could definitely get in trouble for not accepting disability as a form of income.  I'm not a lawyer, though; not legal advice.

As for the particular professions mentioned, I haven't had any applicants of those types so far.

I get what you're saying and certain occupations are or should be viewed more closely for sure. But I always describe the property, not the people.  I don't even say 'walk' to schools and shopping anymore.  I say 'close to'.  Learned that one years ago when I was still placing ads in the paper!  

I remember a section in my license course that mentioned a section of landlords that were exempt from the fair housings laws. While I feel it is unlikely that most investors fall into these categories, there are a few people out there who as far as I can tell, at least under federal law, can refuse even people with disabilities.

"

  • owner-occupied buildings with four or fewer rental units?
  • single-family housing rented without the use of advertising or without a real estate broker, as long as the landlord owns no more than three such homes at any one time?
  • certain types of housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to their own members, and?
  • with respect to age discrimination only, housing reserved exclusively for senior citizens. There are two kinds of senior citizen housing exempted: communities where every tenant is 62 years of age or older, or “55 and older” communities in which at least 80% of the occupied units must be occupied by at least one person 55 years or older. ?"
    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/...


An important point in my opinion is that second bullet point. While I'm no lawyer, it sounds to me that if you own multi-family and don't live in it, it is illegal to discriminate against disabled, and even if you only own a couple SFR, if you advertise at all, it is also illegal for you to refuse to rent to disabled persons.

That said, I don't think it's justified. My wife is a cosmetologist(hair/skin/nails), and I feel like refusing to rent to disabled people based solely on them being disabled is morally repugnant, especially given how many of them are veterans.

@Mike Williams
@Shawn Torsitano

I don't think not wanting to rent to someone because of their line of work is illegal if so then drug dealers could go all breaking bad in your rentals and no one would
Have any recourse. So stating documented income etc during screening sounds fair not all cash tip businesses are all bad but if the landlord thinks by opinion fact or experience that type c job holders never pay etc then they can make
Screening more rigorous as long as they keep the same rules for all their screenings.

Now it is legal to discriminate against disabled persons.

Question: if the units or homes owned are not handicap equipped does the law then force landlords to absorb the cost of remolding that would be highly specific to disabled persons? Or does their disability pay for that at all?

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