Home > Blogs > Oklahoma > Tulsa County > Tulsa > How to identify a potential problem tenant


By Bruce Ailion,CRS,CRB,MSRE,ESQ | Broker in Marietta, GA

How to identify a potential problem tenant

    Beware these warning signs

        A person who needs to move in quickly: Today, Tomorrow, This Weekend

This may be a sign they have been evicted or are being evicted.  There needs to be a good and clearly verifiable reason for the quick move.  Someone staying at a hotel is also a sign of concern.

2)      A person who is living with a friend or relative, someone who could not provide unbroken  rental references,

Where there is not a prior landlord look for other proof of residency.  Confirm the friend or relative is at the prior residence; confirm their ownership or tenancy and its promptness.

3)      A tenant who is unable to complete a full application or unreasonably withholds information they consider personal.

You should be using a standard application and require the same information from every applicant.  Requiring some information from but not all applicants could be a fair housing violation.

4)      Applicants that cannot verify their income and ability to pay the rent

This is often the case for the self-employed, restaurant staff, hair stylists, and people with illegal incomes.  Requesting bank statements and to see deposits and expenses will help flush out the real from the fake incomes.

5)      Applicants with inconsistent addresses, names, and social security numbers, people with no credit profile

Problem tenants often try to mask their history with multiple credit files, false names, to confuse and misdirect verifications.

6)      Tenants that offer to pay unusually high deposits or prepay rent.

Many tenants realize no one who checks them out would rent to them to them because they are such a high risk of damage and default.

7)      Tenants in the early stages of a marital/relationship change

Tenants recently separated may reconcile and return to the marital home.  Tenants recently divorced may not understand the new economic realities of living on or paying support or alimony.  Likewise unmarried people who have never lived together also pose a higher risk of default.

8)      Tenants that are hostile, argumentative, overly critical and demanding about the condition of the property.

            Some people cannot be satisfied and will be hostile, difficult and demanding throughout                 the landlord tenant relationship.

 9)     The tenant is driving a beat up car, dirty, and filled with trash.

This is a good sign your property will be in the same condition at the end of their tenancy

10     What does the tenant’s rental history and employment history say about their stability?

Has the tenant been on the job with a reputable company or do they change jobs every couple of months.  Do they move every 6 months to a year or have they moved several times in the past 3 years.  Stability and longevity can greatly increase net rental returns.

Stay away from bad renters! By staying aware of the warning signs, you can keep your rental unit filled with people who will take care of your property and are likely to pay the rent.


By Karen Barton,  Fri Nov 29 2013, 07:08
Great Info, hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving!!!

Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer