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.


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This web page was updated on 09/01/2010.