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When Prospective #Tenant Wants to Move In Quickly … #tenantscreening

We have a one bedroom condominium for rent. The current tenant gave notice about 3 weeks ago. We always require 60 days notice so that we can minimize loss of rent when we have tenant turnover. We advertise using Zillow and Craigslist. It is extremely important to thoroughly screen prospective tenants! Your tenant evaluation criteria will make or break you as a real estate investor and landlord. One question we ask is if they have to submit 30 days notice to their current landlord. This simple question tells us 3 things:

  1. If they do have to give 30 days notice, it indicates that they respect their current landlord and their obligation to the lease.
  2. It indicates that they have a current rental history that we can verify with their current landlord.
  3. It indicates they have experience paying rent on time every month, which is very important.

Another question we ask if when they plan or need to move. If they need to move right away or with the next week, that raises a red flag! Based on 30 years of experience as landlords, tenants who need to move quickly are typically trying to escape a situation. It may be an pending eviction, a separation or divorce, or their parents want them out of the house! Of course, this is not always the case. For instance, our current tenant needed to move in quickly due to a new job. She provided a copy of her offer letter, and we called the Human Resources department of the company to verify her start date and salary.

We have showed the condo to 2 individuals, and one of them just submitted a rental application. This prospective tenant wants to move within a week. We googled his name, and the search indicates that he has an active court case. His credit score is 519, and he lives with a relative. Although he is working 2 jobs, he has been on the 1st job for 9 months, and his 2nd job for only 2 months. He offered to give us the 1st month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a security deposit before he even saw the place! That is another red flag. Too many red flags for this young man …

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The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the Author/WebMaster. Before taking any action, please consult your real estate, financial, and legal advisors.


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