Potential Tenant has Boyfriend with LENGTHY Felony Record

My would-be tenant has a boyfriend that has an incredibly lengthy criminal record. When she first came to check out the house, she said that he would be living there. When I spoke with her again, she said that he would not be moving in (she wasn’t ready). She checks out - no record.

The house is in small town PA, so I heard that the BF was an addict, etc. I check his record and sure enough he has been arrested and convicted 10 times in as many years for drugs, theft, forgery, criminal mischief, fleeing the police, etc.

My husband is a Deputy Sheriff - this could affect his work.

She was going to move in by the 15th BUT we have no lease. Can I explain to her that although I like her and I was planning to have her move in, this kind of breaks the deal? We renovated everything in this place; it’s a quiet neighborhood with old folks and families. I refuse to allow anyone near the property who is an addict - if I can knowingly avoid it. Do I have the right to do so? Can I explain to her that this is the reason why? I can’t trust that he won’t be spending the nights there, etc. I just can’t. I know he’ll be there… A LOT. Doing God know what.

PLEASE HELP!!! Thanks!

Do not let her move in under any circumstances. Make up some excuse like the town is withholding the certificate of occupancy until some other work is done, etc.

The following is a direct quote from our list of policies we give all our applicants:

Equal Opportunity - We do not discriminate based on race, religion, creed, national origin, handicap, sex, or familial status. We reserve the right to accept or deny tenancy for any other reason as we see fit outside of Federal Fair Housing guidelines.

Telling her she can’t move in your rental due to her boyfriend (whom she stated would be living there) is not illegal. You can also draft reasonable policies as you see fit. If you state you don’t accept ANY felons whatsoever, then this is obviously a reason to deny her.

People will tell you one thing and do another. We run background checks on each adult that is going to be living in the house. If only one adult fills out the paperwork and gets screened, then that’s how the lease reads. We also have limitations for other people “visiting.” Sure family can come stay for a couple weeks, but anything longer than that turns into a problem. If we don’t screen them, they’re not staying at our property.

Personally, I would just tell her the truth. I KNOW that she’s lying about the boyfriend moving in and I don’t accept felons (or liars) as tenants!!!


I never give the applicant the reason that they were rejcted. I just tell them, sorry, I can’t rent to them and I wish them luck and get off the phone. If you give them a reason, many of them will try to argue with you. Don’t talk to them. It’s a business phone call not a social one; say no and get off the phone.

I do, however, have a legal reason to reject and that is written on their application and saved in case there is a question about it. My written criteria says felons will be rejected, and I would reject her for that reason.

This is state by state because in Texas you have to provide the prospective tenant with the reasons that they can be rejected before they make application. In other words they know they will be rejected before they make the application. My leases say that they can’t have anybody there more than 7 days whose name does not appear on the lease. That allows out of their relatives and friends to take a trip there for vacation, but they can’t move in. The lease also restricts them to 3 cars on the premises (one for every garage spot plus 1 more). They have to provide license plate numbers for each car. If I see a car there more than 7 days I would evict based on that, but eviction is a hassle, just go ahead and reject her.