A Property Manager’s Guide to Spotting Bad Tenants

Couple in home with real estate brokerSome property managers claim to have developed a sixth sense about tenants. They can easily spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing and have the experience to pick up on warning signs. If you’re new to the game and aren’t sure how to tell a bad tenant from a good one, this list is for you.

Warning signs

When you’re searching for the perfect tenant for your property it is vitally important that you choose the right fit. The first tenant isn’t always the best one, and you reserve the right to be picky about the person that will be responsible for the upkeep of your property. Look for a few tell-tale signs that you’re dealing with a bad potential tenant.

  1. Obvious signs of alcohol. If you smell alcohol on a prospective tenant, or they talk about being hung over, attending parties, or binge drinking, back away fast. These are not appropriate subjects for a tenant to discuss with a property manager, and they certainly aren’t signs of a good tenant.
  2. They are unwilling to fill out an application on the spot, or they leave spaces blank. A well-prepared and serious tenant will have all of the necessary information to fill out an application after a showing. Taking an application home is a good indication of a lack of responsibility.
  3. Lack of references. Tenants that have had successful relationships with past landlords will have good references. If references appear to be all family members or they skip that section of your application altogether, you may want to move on to the next potential renter.
  4. They are in a big hurry to rent. People that are desperate to rent out a property and make that known to you can be trouble. You may find out that they are dealing with eviction from a previous property. This is also a sign that your potential tenant is unorganized and not well prepared.
  5. Trouble answering questions. When your prospective renter can’t give you straightforward answers to your questions or gets defensive, you should see that as a red flag. They might be hiding important information.

The more tenants you meet, the more you’ll be able to pick up on the qualities of bad tenants. Not all of these warning signs need to be automatic grounds for disqualification, but they should at least pique your interest.

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If you have any questions about Tenant Screening or Property Management, please contact Clagett Enterprises at (301) 663-6011. You can also connect with Clagett on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and YouTube.


This entry was posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 6:14 pm. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.