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Home · Property Management · Tenant Screening : 10 Traits of Terrible Tenants

All it takes is one bad tenant to hijack a years worth of profit.

This hard reality encourages landlords to be extra diligent, screening prospective tenants and looking for the subtle signs that could indicate a potential nightmare in the making.

Here is a list of ten warning signs that could save you a lot of grief:

1. Your prospective tenant does a lousy job filling out the rental application, leaving noticeable gaps, instead of carefully providing accurate and complete information.

2. The tenant is leaving the current rental property mid-lease.

3. They pass off a friend as a landlord reference. Clearly theyre hiding something.

4. The tenant asks if they can pay the rent in cash. Run like the wind from this one!

5. They talk about roommates, but want the lease to be only in their name.

6. The employment history has unexplained gaps, and references are seemingly unavailable.

7. They ask about working on the property, in partial trade for rent.

8. The tenant wants to give you their rent deposit in several payments.

9. Trying to negotiate the rent down to a cheaper price, without a good reason.

10. The information they fill out on their application doesnt match their Previous Address Tenant History (Path).

Of course there are more bad traits, and there are always exceptions. But if you see an applicant with any of these traits, you may want to dig a little deeper.

What is your experience? Do you have any warning signs from your experience? Feel free to share!

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our Landlord Forms page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.

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