Reasons I denied tenant applications

2 Replies

I recently did tenant placement for a friend of mine. These were some of the reasons i did not accept certain applicants. I’m looking for feedback on if these are good reasons or if are they are eliminating good prospects. Also any other screening “rules” you would suggest.

First was if they left the “do you smoke” question blank. If they did smoke I’d have a conversation that the entire property is non smoking, however if they left this blank I saw as being evasive/deceitful. Not something I’d feel comfortable seeing in a tenant.

Second was talking badly about their current landlord. Maybe their landlord wasn't great, but to me if you talk bad about them you'll talk badly about your new landlord.

Third. I had applicants ask me every day for an update after I had given them a timeline for a decision. To me if they are high maintenance applicants they’ll be high maintenance tenants.

Fourth. When it took more than 3 business days to complete an application.

Anything too strict? Any of it helpful? And any other experiences you’ve had that made you add screening rule?

Originally posted by @William Bucklin :

I recently did tenant placement for a friend of mine. These were some of the reasons i did not accept certain applicants. I’m looking for feedback on if these are good reasons or if are they are eliminating good prospects. Also any other screening “rules” you would suggest.

First was if they left the “do you smoke” question blank. If they did smoke I’d have a conversation that the entire property is non smoking, however if they left this blank I saw as being evasive/deceitful. Not something I’d feel comfortable seeing in a tenant.

Second was talking badly about their current landlord. Maybe their landlord wasn’t great, but to me if you talk bad about them you’ll talk badly about your new landlord.

Third. I had applicants ask me every day for an update after I had given them a timeline for a decision. To me if they are high maintenance applicants they’ll be high maintenance tenants.

Fourth. When it took more than 3 business days to complete an application.

Anything too strict? Any of it helpful? And any other experiences you’ve had that made you add screening rule?

 In the same order:

  1. Meh. If someone skipped this or any other question I'd just communicate with them that every question must be answered for an application to be complete.
  2. There are plenty of bad landlords out there and I know I'm not one of them. I also don't care what people say about me. What does matter to me is what exactly were they complaining about? Is it indicative of a bad landlord or that they were a bad tenant. Example: Every time we were late on the rent, the landlord called us 3 times per day asking for an update VS I woke up Sunday morning to my landlord opening my bedroom door (happened to a family member)
  3. I would not pass on someone for this. Applications cost money and securing housing is a huge deal. If someone needs to find a new place to live by a certain date, they don't want to sit around for 2 weeks while you make a decision and they also don't want to spend the money applying to 5 other places if your property is the one they really want. Even if you told them when you plan to make a decision, persistence often pays off.
  4. Again, wouldn't pass on someone for this. People have lives and responsibilities. What difference does it make how long it takes?

One question I always ask is how long people intend to live there and I've found that most are (seemingly) honest about their intentions. If I have more than one qualified candidate, I'll go with the one that says they intend to live there longer.  

    I don't want pets or smokers in my properties, so if they do either - they are not considered.