Tip of the Month - September 2010
Evaluating Rental Applications
Source: Every Landlord’s Legal Guide
By: Attorney Janet Portman-Ralph Warner-Chairman CEO
Co-Founder Marcia Stewart
Take your time to evaluate
your applications. Landlords are often faced with anxious,
sometimes desperate people who need a place to live immediately.
On a weekend or holiday, especially when it’s 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.
Don’t believe it. People who have planned so poorly that
they will literally have to sleep in the street if they don’t
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 or her to move in as
much as a toothbrush. Then, if the person won’t leave
voluntarily, you will have to file an eviction lawsuit
If an application looks good, your next step is to
follow up thoroughly. The time and money you spend are some of
the most cost-effective expenditures you will ever make.
CAUTION: BE CONSISTENT IN YOUR SCREENING
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This web page was updated on 09/01/2010.