Property Rental Scams: Red Flags when Screening a Corporate Housing Tenant

Nothing will cause you to lose money with your rental property than having a bad tenant or a professional scammer in the property. I’ve been in the property management field long enough to know red flags and rental scams when I see them. You know, the tenant calls you and your gut just tells you something just doesn’t feel right.Red flags when screening a corporate housing tenant

In my experience, here are some red flags every corporate housing landlord should be on the look out for:

A tenant who doesn’t want to complete the rental application.

Every tenant should complete the rental application with a few core exceptions. If they tell you they are a corporation don’t just accept that, do research on the company to find out how big they are, what they do and is this individual approved to get corporate housing.

Tenants who leave off numbers when providing their credit card and/or social security numbers.

If any important information or numbers are missing, your flag should raise.  If they are unwilling to provide this information then they need to understand that you have done all you can do but you cannot lease to them due to company policy.  Ask for a copy of a driver’s license that matches the name on the credit card so you really know the credit card belongs to them.

Urgency.

If a client is rushing you and says he needs to move in ASAP but is not getting you the information you need to do the lease, your red flag should be sky-high. Never rush into a deal until all your T’s are crossed. Rushed deals are often riddled with fraud – beware.

Their story changes.

Another red flag can occur when a prospective tenants calls over and over again and gives you sob story after sob story. Or, sometimes they call and ask to speak to someone else so they can mix up the story and use one leasing agent against another agent. Also, be weary of prospects who will only speak on the phone because they don’t want facts written down – these prospects can turn into he said she said cases.

Lies.

If a prospective tenant lies on the application for any reason, they should be immediately disqualified from renting your property.

Someone who doesn’t want to fill out a rental credit application.

This one speaks for itself as it clearly indicates property rental scams. If someone has bad credit it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t afford the payments or should be immediately disqualified. But if they aren’t willing to have that discussion with you and disclose the truth upfront, your guard should be way up.

What other red flags have come up in your interactions with prospective renters?

Read more about Scams in other CHBO Blogs.

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Kimberly Smith is an accomplished entrepreneur and published author with more than 20 years experience as an entrepreneur in the areas of real estate, property management, corporate housing, website development and franchising. In 1999 Kimberly and her husband/ business partner, Eric, launched AvenueWest Corporate Housing, Inc., a multi-million dollar success story. AvenueWest provides real estate property management of furnished residential properties offering full service corporate housing services to upscale executive travelers in need of a monthly lodging solution. A recognized leader in the industry, they were awarded CHPA’s 2010 Provider Company of the Year Award and listed for 3 consecutive years on Inc Magazine’s Inc 5000 list of the countries fastest growing businesses. Inspired to help people find corporate housing and real estate solutions on a national basis, Kimberly and Eric came up with a business idea to create a national resource dedicated to connecting furnished rental properties with executive renters. In 2006 CorporateHousingbyOwner.com (CHBO) was launched, the first-of-its-kind online portal connecting furnished rentals and the traveling public. In 2013 CHBO was recognized by CHPA as the Associate Company of the Year. In 2009 AvenueWest Global Franchise was launched allowing for the national expansion of the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing product. Current offices are located in Phoenix, Atlanta, Fort Collins, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Denver and Colorado Springs.

2 Comments

  1. Dr. Tamara Smith
    October 11, 2016

    Good morning Kimberly! Thank you for the great information. My question for you is how can you tell if the corporate housing organization is a scam, in terms of those who provide credit approvals for rent?

    Reply
    1. Jeff Richards
      October 12, 2016

      Hi. Can you please elaborate on your question?

      Reply

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