TIP OF THE MONTH - February 2015

Take Your Time to Evaluate Applications
Source: Every Landlord’s Legal Guide (NOLO.COM)
              By: Janet Portman, Ralph Warner, Marcia Stewart

Landlords are often faced with anxious, sometimes desperate people who need a place to live immediately.  On a weekend or holiday, especially when it is impossible to check references, a prospective tenant may tell you a terrific hard-luck story as to why normal credit-and reference checking rules should be ignored in their case and why they should be allowed to move right in. Do not believe it.  People who have planned so poorly that they will literally have to sleep in the street if they do not rent your place that day are likely to come up with similar emergencies when it comes time to pay the rent.  Taking the time to screen out bad tenants will save you lots of problems later on.

Never, never let anyone stay in your property on a temporary basis.  Even if you have not signed a rental agreement or accepted rent, you give someone the legally protected status of a tenant by giving that person a key or allowing him/her to move in as much as a toothbrush.  Then, if the person will not leave voluntarily, you will have to file an eviction lawsuit.

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This web page was updated on 01/31/2015.