Do you EVER rent to folks with an eviction? If so why?

8 Replies

Hello BP members.  I have a few rental properties.  Once every six months or so one becomes available.  I re-list on the multiple listing service in my local area and I get dozens and dozens of applicants.  My hard and fast rule is I don't rent to people who have been evicted.  I have plenty of good candidates to choose from and always pick the one who is most qualified.  I have been doing it for years and follow my system to a fault.  I am just wondering if I'm being irrational and following some confirmation bias.


@Daryl Biberston Stay away from an eviction, there are so many renters out there in the market place that you can rent to without lowering your standards. 

To combat people looking to rent the place with evictions on their record you can do one of two things: raise the market rent a little more than the surrounding units/houses, or you can increase the security deposit. These would work really great since people in the predicament of an eviction have the issue of less money to put down, and/or less money to pay for rent.    

Yes. In rare situations. 

There are some people who make poor choices in life and later are able to make amends, correct their mistakes and become responsible renters. Of course we would also take into consideration the circumstances that led to the eviction. The circumstances alone may be significant enough for us to deny tenancy.

Once we had a prospective tenant call us, who had an eviction on her record. We made it clear what we required and she read our rental criteria. So she called the landlord who had evicted her 8 years prior (for failure to pay rent), apologized, paid back all she owed and put down an extra security deposit to be able to rent our place. The previous landlord (mom & pop operation such as ours) was stunned and very grateful to receive the call and the money due to him. The tenant was grateful to be given a second chance. We were grateful to have a tenant who demonstrated to us that she was willing and able to abide by the terms of our rental agreement. We had the extra security deposit to cover our extra risk in case she didn't. All worked out. She became one of our stellar tenants.

The upside is, if you are willing to accept the risk and rent to someone with negative legal history, they are likely to become long-term renters because they have much fewer options available to them and are likely to stick with a landlord treats them respectfully. The key is establishing and maintaining open and honest communication, being polite and respectful, having a strong rental agreement in place and having the moxie to enforce it in a professional manner.

From our rental criteria:


1.We will examine the most recent five years of residence history.

2.Home ownership will be verified through the tax assessors office and/or credit report.

3.Rental history will be verified through the property owner and/or rental agent.

4.Rental history reflecting any unpaid past due rent, damages or fees will result in denial.

5.Rental history showing excessive property damage, excessive noise, or unruly behavior will result in denial.

6.Three or more notices for failure to pay rent and/or to comply with the terms of the rental agreement, within a 12 month period, will result in denial.

7.A person with an eviction or unlawful detainer on their record may be approved if full restitution has been made. We would require an additional security deposit as well to mitigate our risk.One eviction only. Multiple evictions will result in denial.

8.Long term rental history or home ownership is favorable.Residence history that shows an excessive number of moves within the last five years will require additional security deposit.

9.If residency was out of state within the last five years, an additional fee may be necessary to conduct an out of state background check.

Yes. All the time.

I just make the deposit higher to mitigate my risk. Recent eviction might be 2x months rent.

(Which is why the liberal states with "tenant friendly" laws do more harm than good. Because if I could only charge max 1 months rent as a deposit there is no way I'd take a chance on a marginal tenant.

And even though I'm in a "landlord friendly" state [texas] the eviction process is still harder than it could be. If evictions were easier then I'd be willing to take a chance on tenants who need help the most and would be willing to rent with lower deposits. But if it's hard to get rid of someone you have to charge a deposit to account for that)

Also it depends on where your properties are. If you're getting tons of qualified leads then sure, why take someone with an eviction.

But if you're renting C properties in C areas you can stay empty and rent to only those "good" tenants or lower your requirements a bit (though stay firm on deposits) to max returns.

@Cody L. Do you have a lot of turn overs in c properties in c neighborhood? if so wouldn't that eat up a lot of your cash flow? so on paper you may have a lot of cashflow but the quality of these cash flow is questionable?