As experienced property managers, we have learned to recognize these 10 “red flags” during the tenant screening process. These are the 1st 5 “red flags” we encounter while showing the property to a prospective tenant. Try to remember that theses are only “red flags” and their answers may be true but there is a need to investigate further.
1. The prospective tenant offers more than the advertised rent and security deposit. (This is a scam that has been going on for awhile. A prospective tenant will send an email offering to pay with a cashier’s check and actually write an amount larger than the cost and ask for a refund from the landlord. The landlord cashes the check, writes the prospective tenant the refund amount and then the check later goes bad.)
2. They are willing to pay all cash and need to move in right away.
3. They ask if they can do all the property maintenance because they’ll be doing the property owner a big favor.
4. They say they have always owned and are “above the process”
5. They immediately speak poorly about their current landlord saying that they will not give them a good reference.
After you receive the application these are the last 5 “red flags” that we generally encounter. Here are the 5 “red flags”
6. The social security number brings up information that doesn’t match their submitted information. (When items come up on their credit report that doesn’t match up with their application this is also a “red flag”)
7. The prospective tenant just lost their ID. (This could be true but it’s important to investigate a little further)
8. Their family members are their employers. (This could be true but it’s important to investigate a little further)
9. They have no credit and they have been renting and working for many years.
10. Their family members are their only landlords. (This also could be true as many family members will rent their homes to other family members)
Many of these red flags could be true so it’s necessary to investigate the facts. These are merely warning signals to investigate further. As a property management company, we use a screening process that we have developed over the years. Most of our procedures are a direct result of these “red flags”. Our company applies the exact same process to all applicants in order to protect our owners from Fair Housing complaints, and to be able to place good qualified tenants in our homes.