I’m prepared to answer normal questions.
When I conduct showings of my rental units for prospective tenants, I’m ready to answer questions such as, “What’s the average cost of utilities? How close by is the nearest grocery store or park? How is the crime rate in this area?”
What I’m not prepared for, however, are the completely out-there oddball questions that several prospective tenants have asked.
(And guess what? I’m sure my stories pale in comparison to some of the weird stuff that the rest of the BiggerPockets community has heard.)
So here — just for your fun and amusement — is a list of the weirdest questions my tenants have asked. Have you heard anything more strange? Share your story in the comments.
Download Your FREE Rental Application Form!
It may seem like a small thing, but having a solid rental application is the first step in finding great tenants. Since BiggerPockets is all about helping you succeed in real estate investing, we’ve put together a complimentary Rental Application for you to use. Download it today and go find some great tenants!
#1. Can I set up a chicken coop in the backyard?
I’m not freaking joking. Somebody asked this.
Now, if this was a house in a rural area, I might understand. In fact, if we had a yard, I could understand.
But this was a multi-unit building in the urban core of Atlanta. It occupies the same one-mile radius as a bunch of 30-story skyscrapers. Our “backyard” consists of parking spots.
My response was: “Uh, I don’t think the city would permit that.”Although in my head, of course, I was thinking: “I can just imagine how much the other tenants in the building would complain about the smell of chicken feces.”
#2. Instead of paying rent, can I pay you in massage?
Fortunately, this guy had previously told me he was a licensed massage therapist. Otherwise I would have been incredibly creeped out.
My response? “Um, I don’t think there’s any way to enforce that.”
“If you don’t pay the rent, I can take you to court. But if you don’t give me a massage, what am I going to do? Go to a judge and say, ‘hey, this guy owes me a back rub?'”
#3. I’m a Contractor. How about I fix up your place in lieu of paying rent?
This isn’t really a weird comment, it’s more of just an off-base one.
I would never, ever enter into that kind of an arrangement with a tenant. Managing a contractor whom you’re paying cash is complicated enough. The two of you need to define a scope of work, decide whether or not the work is performed up to standard, agree on a set of materials …
Adding an additional layer of landlord/tenant relationship complicates matters to the point where, well, it’s just not worth it.
Keep your relationships clean. Let tenants be tenants, let contractors be contractors, and don’t mix the two.
What unexpected questions have you heard?
Sound off in the comments!