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Author Topic: reasons for not selecting as tenant  (Read 13602 times)

Offline johnnyg

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reasons for not selecting as tenant
« on: January 09, 2007, 04:09:15 pm »
I know that there are fair housing laws but do you need to inform people why they were not selected to occupy my rental? Do i need to esablish  a checklist of reasons to turn someone down and then i can say they did not fit my criteria.I dont want to break the law but i also dont want to rent to a person whos car is filled with garbage wheres gang clothing and is very intimidating.  What do i tell them my reason is with out breaking the law.

Thanks
johnnyg

Offline kdhastedt

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2007, 04:19:15 pm »

There's a whole list of reasons that you can't deny someone housing:

Race, creed, nationality, sex, marital status, family size, etc...

But there's also a list of reasons that you can...unemployed, don't meet the income criteria, etc., etc.

You probably should contact the Housing office in your area (rules vary from state to state)...to see if there are specific rules for your area.  

Also, you need to know that there may be specific rules if you don't rent to them based on the information in their credit report!

Keith
I have CDO...it's like OCD but in alphabetical order - the way it should be!

Offline propertymanager

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2007, 06:01:59 pm »
Johnny,

We have a company policy concerning our tenant criteria.  That makes is very easy to deny people based on those criteria.  A written policy can also be used in court if you are ever sued by a tenant.

Good Luck,

Mike
www.1MinuteToRentalPropertyRichs.com 
This No-Hype, No-Nonsense Book is a step by step course in making money and building wealth with rental properties!  Everything from buying properties at a discount to dealing with terrible tenants.  Now In Paperback!

Offline Frank Chin

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2007, 06:33:35 pm »
What I do is:

- Always market my rentals at least 10% below or more so I get 50 applicants coming and at least 12 applications.  Why?? I tell everyone I wished I can rent to them, but because of of the demand 99% gets turned down.

- Treat everyone with the greatest respect, and give them no reason to suspect discrimination.

And my criteria for selecting the tenant?? Vacancies kills me financially, and I have to pick tenants that based on my experience, would stay the longest. Unfortuantely, that is not something that I can quantify.

Examples:

- I tend to shy away from the highest paid, because they tend to stay the shortest. And when I make exceptions, I have problems. Once I was forced to rent to a young fella making 110K/year, because everyone else had bad credit. He's moving in with a girlfriend he just got pregnant. I also knew he moved away from home for a year and moved back home with mom, and mom came ot see the SFH with him.

I knew he wasn't going to stay long, but are the above reasons valid to deny him a rental?? In my book yes, and he actually stayed barely a year, just as I thought. But can I put that in a policy manual for denying a rental?? In other works I don't want folks making 100K a year, who just got a girlfreind pregnant, and who saw the place with mom??

- Had a 1BR apartment, with turnover every 6 to 9 months, I was tired of young professionals with perfect credit, who always get promoted, transferred, one big reason for moving, and pretty young girls staying a few months, and found a boyfreind!! I was tired of painting cleaning, showing the place several times a year

I decided I wanted an ugly woman, in a deadend job, preferably a mature women.

I picked thru 50 applicants and found an ugly 50ish waitress that worked in the same place for 20 years. She wound up staying with me for close to seven years.

Tell me.

A rental broker asked me the type of ideal tenant I'm looking for. What do you think he would say to me if I told him I'm looking for an ugly women with a deadend job?? But that's exactly what I was looking for. And What if I tell them I don't want a good looking professional, with perfect credit, and high pay.

Think I should get locked up??


Offline johnnyg

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2007, 07:52:47 pm »
mike

any chance you can share that tenant criteria with me.

thanks again
johnnyg

Offline propertymanager

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2007, 06:31:09 am »
Johnny,

We don't accept anyone who:

1. has been evicted in the past 5 years
2. has had their utilities shut off in the past year
3. has had any felony in the past 5 years
4. has had more than 2 misdemeanors in the past 5 years
5. has had ANY drug activity in the past 5 years

In addition, I look at the credit report for evidence of recent credit problems.  I do not use a score.  I also do an employment check and check with their past 2 landlords.  Finally, I judge them based on their appearance and character as Frank said.

Good Luck,

Mike
« Last Edit: January 11, 2007, 06:32:18 am by propertymanager »
www.1MinuteToRentalPropertyRichs.com 
This No-Hype, No-Nonsense Book is a step by step course in making money and building wealth with rental properties!  Everything from buying properties at a discount to dealing with terrible tenants.  Now In Paperback!

Offline Frank Chin

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2007, 07:14:17 am »
Good points Mike.

I might add I check the ID's AFTER they fill out an application because people with problems often run to small property owners to rent, figuring no one would check. Most of the time, they're right.

In fact, in my last rental, had a Nigerian gentlemen filling out an application, and instead of showing me W2's, pay stubs, usual stuff that most people bring along. showed me a bank account with 80K in it.

Rather then being impressed, I asked him to bring his wife and brother, which according to the application would be living there. Says his wife won't be over from Nigeria for a few months, but will bring his brother in a few days.

When asked for his driver's licensed, claims he left it home.

A few days later, bought his brother to fill out an application. On completion, I noticed his surname was different than his brother. The explanation now is plans have changed, and this is his nephew.

Again, I asked for ID's, and the second man produced a license that's different than the name on the application. The explanation is that he use his "official name" at work.

Needless to say, the first man forgot his license again.

So, check ID's, and stories. Many times, I don't even go with credit, eviction, background checks when ID's are suspect, and stories sound fishy.

 

Offline propertymanager

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2007, 07:42:46 am »
Frank,

AMEN!

Here in Ohio, I eliminate about 90% of the potential applicants on the first phone call.  I find it incredible that people are that bad, but they are.  In my area, a huge percentage of the population of the lower class tenants are criminals, liars, drug addicts, drunks, and do not pay their bills.  These people make a career of living on public assistance and taking advantage of weak landlords.

I had one woman who I denied because she was a criminal.  I told her that there was an active warrant for her arrest.  She insisted that I wasn't telling the truth and wanted to have proof.  I told her to meet me at 5pm and I called the police.  They also met with us at 5pm and she had the opportunity to spend a little time reflecting on her stupidity in jail.

Mike

www.1MinuteToRentalPropertyRichs.com 
This No-Hype, No-Nonsense Book is a step by step course in making money and building wealth with rental properties!  Everything from buying properties at a discount to dealing with terrible tenants.  Now In Paperback!

Offline Bluemoon06

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007, 08:47:58 am »
She wanted to have proof.  I told her to meet me at 5pm and I called the police.  They also met with us at 5pm

LOL  she got her proof.
Real estate to Retire you
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Offline Frank Chin

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2007, 07:32:51 am »
Mike:

You're right about screening over the phone. We do a casual conversation over the phone, and interview them on site, and screened out quite a few scammers over the years when the stories didn't match.

One reason for turndown we didn't mention is "lying on the application"

But, catering to a more affluent, and a more litigious group here in NYC, I'm careful about the fair housing laws. In fact, have an acquaintance that runs a group here that hires testers to pose as renters to verify complaints. I even contribute to that goup. LOL

One common practice is to not invite minorities to show the rental, instead saying its rented. Another is to not take applications from minorities. Then, many feel that if they came first, it's lilke they took a number, and they get first crack, and if not, then its discrimination.

I normally do weekend open house showings, and just tell everyone calling to come on by. I'll be there anyway. It serves two purposes. Folks feel that they were not denied a chance to see the place, and with reasonably priced rents, the place gets crowded, and I can reasonably say to everyone "I know you'll make a great tenant, and I wish everyone is as nice as you. and I wish I got 50 nice apartments like this to rent out, unfortuntately, I have to pick ONE tenant this weekend".

If a "tester" comes by and hears this, what can he say??

Years back, being a little more naive, I let some applicants know they're the first or second ones coming by. No more. They get upset if they are not considered before others, and if they complain, might have a good case.

Not long ago, I advertised a rental that came up, and someone called 7:30AM one Saturday morning, woke me up, and asked if he was the first caller. I answered "yes, you are the first one today, but I have a few applicants already". He sounded surprised at this and said "I've been following the rental ads for a while, but this is the first I've seen your ad, so how could I not be the first??".

Actually, he was right, I lied, and he was actually the first one, but I didn't want to get involved in having to consider him, and give him a reason to deny him an apartment.

I thought quickly, and after determining his ethnicity by his name, said "Oh, I advertised in the local Chinese papers a week earlier, and perhaps you didn't see it there".

Of course he didn't

And for good measure, I told him that while I'll be showing the place from 11:00AM that day ,I made a few appointments already, it'll be crowded and if he can come by around 4:00PM." By then, I'll should have a stack of applications filled out.

He did come by, and after seeing the crowd, and applications I have on hand, said "my chances are not that great then". I nodded. I doubt he'll file a fair housing complaint.

Sometimes, I even take a stack of completed applications from a prior showing to make the case that I got applicants on hand already.

So, this is how I keep ahead of the fair housing police.

 

Offline Cate

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2007, 08:20:09 am »
Mike,

You crack me up . . . I truly laughed out loud.  Can't wait to use that one and help someone 'reflect on their stupidity' . . . in jail.

Cate
"Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death."  Auntie Mame

Offline propertymanager

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2007, 09:00:41 am »
Cate,

I'm "blessed" with a lot of funny stories from my wonderful tenants and their soap opera lives.  However, as I'm sure you know, many times they aren't that funny at the time.  Right now I'm in the process of evicting a Section 8 tenant.  She's a young girl with a baby who had no criminal history when I accepted her.  Now, she's doing Herion and running a whorehouse from her apartment.  The earliest court date I could get was Feb. 6.  If I wasn't numb to all the stupidity.....   :'(

Mike
www.1MinuteToRentalPropertyRichs.com 
This No-Hype, No-Nonsense Book is a step by step course in making money and building wealth with rental properties!  Everything from buying properties at a discount to dealing with terrible tenants.  Now In Paperback!

Offline henryinma

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2007, 02:51:24 am »
There is that classic line that past performance is no indication of future performance so there's only so much screening that you can do to help.

Also another book I was reading says that that you never deny anyone, just say that you need further information to process their application and according to the author, they usually never get back to you in time or know that they lied and don't follow it up.

Another way to discourage applications is to charge an application fee, say $20-$30 to run the credit check. Non refundable. Lots of people take applications but then won't fill it out. You can also have a section that asks them how much money they have in the bank. If they don't have adequate reserves, you can then say they don't meet one of your guidelines.

Oh yeah, my most recent story that was somewhat "funny" was a tenant who said " I forgot that Feburary was such a short month". As I seem to recall, February has always had only 28 or 29 days max. How do you forget that?
Realtor/Rental Property Owner
Boston, MA

Offline ElephantNest

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2007, 08:04:56 am »
Does anyone have any apllications they could share with me? I have what I feel to be a fairly solid Lease, and Drug Addendum, but no applications.

Thanks so much.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 09:05:17 am by kdhastedt »
On my first rehab, a guy hammering on the roof called me a paranoid little weirdo. In morse code.

Offline kdhastedt

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Re:reasons for not selecting as tenant
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2007, 09:07:16 am »

...check your e-mail.

Keith
I have CDO...it's like OCD but in alphabetical order - the way it should be!

 




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