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How to Recognize Problem Tenants Before They Become a Problem


May 7, 2019

Written by:

Abhi Sreerama

There are many reasons that the tenant screening process is in place. Problematic tenants often lead to evictions, which can be both stressful and expensive. In addition, the time that you have to spend on the eviction process is time during which a paying renter may have otherwise been able to live in the property. Here are a few tips for recognizing problem tenants early on and preventing the disruption and damage these kinds of tenants can cause to your rental property business.

A calendar with rent due reminder

Gaps in Employment

If there are large gaps in their employment history, you may be able to expect gaps in their employment while they live on your property. Keep in mind, however, that they may have valid explanations, so make sure you address these gaps during the interview.

Insufficient Income

Understanding whether an individual can afford your rent prices is a matter of simple math. Most people recommend that tenants budget 1/3 of their monthly income for rent. If they aren’t making enough money to do so, they likely can’t afford to live on your property.

Low Credit Score

Ultimately, a credit score reflects habits and the history of the applicant’s financial situation. A low credit score indicates past financial problems, which can be a red flag if you wish to receive regular rent payments!

Objecting to Background Checks

Anyone that doesn’t have something to hide will be more than happy to agree to your standard background checks. If they refuse or object, it is likely that they are hiding something in their past.

Haggling in Any Form

Haggling is a huge red flag. An applicant that attempts to haggle over rent, deposits, and other fees likely doesn’t have sufficient income to live in your rental property.

Listen to Your Instincts

When it comes down to it, your gut is usually right. If you feel wary about renting to a potential applicant, don’t. It is extremely likely that there is a reason for your unease. Problematic tenants can be disastrous for landlords. Watching out for these warning signs can help you to prevent these bad tenants from ever becoming a problem. To learn more about efficient tenant screening and the warning signs to watch out for, contact our team at the Keyrenter in Houston today!


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