While many landlords would like to think they have a sixth sense that can help detect a bad potential tenant, sometimes they can slip through the cracks. If you think there’s something wrong, there probably is, even if you can’t put your finger on it. Trusting your instincts can really pay off long-term and save you from spending time and energy to fix a bad situation. Here are four ways to help you spot a bad tenant.
They move Frequently
While there’s nothing wrong with moving around, it might be a red flag when a tenant appears to move around really frequently and without notice. If you know they are prone to fast moves, you are taking a risk that may not end in your favor. This could mean they leave without paying or have caused problems with other landlords in the past. Be sure to speak with prospective tenants about reasons for their moves.
They Can’t Prove Their Income
When you’re screening your tenants you should ask them for proof of income, or at least something to show you they can afford the place. Ideally, you want to be able to prove that your tenants make three times the rent in order to be able to pay the monthly rent on time. If they can’t show you that they can pay their rent then they probably can’t, or they’re getting money from a sketchy source. You can also check out our list of 4 ways to prove a tenant’s income for more tips.
They Don’t Want You to run a Background Check
People like to have their privacy, but your prospective tenants shouldn’t be against you running a background check on them. You don’t want your tenants to be evasive and pushing back against a simple credit or background check could definitely mean they are hiding something from you which is a huge warning sign from the start. There’s probably a reason they are hesitant on you running a background check so it’s better to pass on these people and prevent any potential problems.
They List Their Friends as References
Your friends are always going to stick up for you, even in times where they maybe shouldn’t. If your prospective tenants don’t have good relationships with their employer or previous landlords, they are unlikely to list them as a reference. Even if these tenants aren’t hiding anything, they should be mature and responsible enough to list a professional reference.