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.
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.
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.
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.