help!---What to do in this situation

Tenant gave me apps for her & her husband morning, with app fees for both of them.
When she gave it I realized it was only partially filled out and asked her to fill out the rest. She did fill out some more, but unfortunately I guess I didn’t pay enough attention. I got home and realized it still isn’t filled out completely.

She told me they’re currently living with her mom. She told me they broke a lease 5 years ago at a crappy apartment complex. I don’t have a big problem with that lease breaking, but I don’t have her rental history after that. I looked up the “current landlord” address where her mom supposedly lives (she listed mom as landlord on application) on google maps and no address comes up for that. I don’t know if she put the wrong suffix --there is a “way” for this address, but not “circle” like she put on her application.

So I looked up her mom’s name on it’s own and her mom comes up as the tenant at the “previous landlord’s” address that she put on the application (the app has no landlord listed for that address). She told me on the phone that they did have rental history after they broke the lease at the apartment building, but they didn’t provide it to me on the app, and now I’m wondering if they’ve just been living with her mom for years after they left that apartment.

They did provide lots of paystubs for the husband. The husband told me verbally that he “pulled in $1000 last week”. He did, but I see he doesn’t earn that every week. One week it was only $100. They didn’t give me her paystubs because they say she gets paid by direct deposit so they don’t have any.
I feel like I’m having to be a super sleuth with this group. They seem like nice enough people in person, but then most people do. Maybe I’m overreacting or being paranoid? I don’t know if I should call her back and try to get her to explain this stuff and meet with her to fill out the application completely? Or would I be out of line to just call them and offer them their app fees back? I’m beginning to wonder if it’s going to be a waste of time and money to process these people on Monday with the screening service I’m using. I know I didn’t handle this one perfectly.

Seems like there is some “lack of truth” going on here. You’ve uncovered several instances yourself. Also, everyone I know of (wife included) who has direct payroll deposit gets a paystub mailed to them. I know my previous business (over 120 employees) mailed out stubs for direct deposit.

I’d do a standard tenant investigation (credit check, criminal check, previous landlord check, eviction check) and let the chips fall where they may … but I think you already know what side of being your new tenant they will probably land on.


How they act now is probably a good indication of how they’ll be when you have them as a tenant. If you’re not comfortable with them now, you’re not going to be comfortable with them later. If they have a history of moving a lot, they won’t be at your place too long. I don’t know what your financial situation is, the condition of your building is, or the vacancy rates in your area are, but if you can pass on these applicants, my vote is to pass.

Thanks. I gave them their app fees back and told them I couldn’t proceed because they effectively had no rental history on their application.

You could have probably kept the app fees and just deny them based on lack of verifiable information. You did give her two chances to fill it out completely. The inconsistent income for the husband is definitely a red flag.
I take into acct applicant behavior and everything else. Tonight I had a couple drive by one of the houses I’m working on. They started asking about it and wanted to rent it. When I told them it was already taken, the wife basically threw a temper tantrum in the car because they missed out on the property. I thanked them for their interest and continued working. People showing personalities like that just make me not want to rent to them at all no matter what. Then we had the lady on sect 8 who wanted her 14 yr old daughter to pay the deposit. Someone that pathetic is going to just be a problem.

None of it made sense to me. They gave me no rental history to work with at all.

I understand what you mean about people who act a certain way. I’ve gotten to the point where when someone on the phone barely listens to what I have to say and acts pushy about seeing the house on their schedule, I don’t even want to show them the house. I don’t know if my expectations of people’s behavior are too high though.

Also, I’ve decided I’m just not dealing with the “I need to move ASAP but I can’t give a good reason why” crowd anymore.

YOu always want consistent income from your tenants as well as truth.
If they’re fooling with you now, can you imagine what will happen in a month or two when rents are due.

Living with family is always a red flag with me.
That means trouble or that they are hiding what a previous landlord would say about them.

Do yourself a big favor and move on