I think this is weird tenant month. I rent apartments on behalf of owners and as usual I’m renting a few. One of them is for the landlord featured in the post Landlord – Death Edition. The landlord I was worried about in that post is OK although he was in the hospital for a while. Part of my unstated job description is to separate the owners from weird unsuitable tenants until we find that “perfect” tenant. That’s why they hire me. It’s really important for them because they both live in the house.
Tenant Only Slightly Strange
When I became aware of the illness of the Landlord at the one location I was with the tenant who later turned out to be very pushy and strange. The first sign of that problem actually happened during the showing I was at. We were both approached by the neighbour who told us that the owner had been taken to the hospital. While I was explaining to the neighbour that I had no idea where the owner was the potential tenant just randomly started up a conversation with a random lady on the street.
Social Conventions Being Violated
Obviously there is no law against starting up conversations on the street. There is nothing wrong with it except that it violates certain unstated conventions. After I finished talking to the neighbour, I had to walk down the street to give the application to him and he was still trying to talk to the clearly uncomfortable lady. He had engaged her in a conversation of sorts and he kept me waiting and finally I had to interrupt to give him his paperwork.
Tenant gets Pushier
I had already had to listen to his oversharing in the apartment and while I did not immediately clue into what the problem was, it did leave me feeling a little uncomfortable. As luck would have it, I got the application the next day and it looked fine. The owner was still missing and I told the applicant that the next day. So he called me every day until the owner got out of the hospital and the owner turned him down. So I told him that I was turning down his application.He kept calling me every day trying to change my mind. By then, I’ve classified this guy as a pushy problem tenant who would overwhelm the owner with unreasonable requests.
More Boundary Crossing
Then, he got even more pushy, he went to the house and tried to talk to the owner. The owner wasn’t home, he came home to find the an application and ID for the potential tenant as well as a long letter begging him to give the place. That’s when thing got funny because the owner recognized the guy as someone who had bought something off him years before and bounced a check. Furthermore, the potential had been working for a friend of his as an accountant and funds had disappeared.
In spite of that coincidence, this guy had already revealed himself as a bad apple who would even if he paid the rent, take advantage of the owner, violate his boundaries and generally make life miserable for a variety of reasons. He would then be impossible to get rid of because chances are he would pay his rent.
Example of Violation of Landlord – Tenant Relationship
I have heard a number of these kinds of stories, the worst example possibly being a great landlord who had changed a perfectly functional furnace at the tenant’s request because they thought the 7 year old furnace was too old. She ended up hiring Speedy Rental Agency, a company I used to work for, to manage the property because it just cost her too much and she couldn’t say no to their continual pushy requests to change and repair everything for no good reason.
My Next Strange Tenant
My next example is another tenant who was pushy and probably lying about everything about themselves. I have really strict procedures about how I book appointments. First I take the call and make an appointment, then I require potential tenants to call me an hour before the appointment to confirm the appointment. This saves me a lot of gas going to the appointment just to be stood up. I make it crystal clear to everyone that if they don’t call to confirm I will not show up.
In this property the owner lives in the house. This tenant fails the IQ test and shows up there without confirming the appointment. She starts off by telling the the owner that she didn’t want to bother me to call me. This is total BS because she had made and appointment I was waiting for her to call and ready to go show the place.
Tenant Runs the Apartment Down
She then goes on to tell the owner that the place has been for rent for a long time which it really hasn’t it’s only been vacant for 14 days. I did start renting it as soon as the last tenant gave her notice but the place was over crowded with furniture and not showing very well. As soon as I saw the place I knew it was a potential waste of time, and I told the owner this; but, hope springs eternal and I’ve gotten lucky before. The owner also took a week or so to paint the place and make it look attractive for new tenants.
Then Offers Multiple Months of Rent Up Front?
So this potential tenant goes on to tell the owner that she’s charging way too much for her place and she offers her $250 less then the rent. She claims she lives in the area and she works for the Federal Government and she’s offended by the lack of parking for her truck. She also doesn’t like it that the 90 year old house doesn’t have central air and tells the owner how bad it is that she doesn’t have it. Then even thought the house has nothing of what she needs she leaves her number for the owner to call her “when she comes to her senses.” She then offered to pay a large sum of money up front before moving in.
Problems With the Owner for Me
Of course the owner immediately calls me as soon as this weird pushy person leaves. She tells me to take her address out of the ads, I tell her that the address is not in the ads. This lady had called about a place clearly out of her budget, circumvented me, harassed the owner about all the stuff her apartment didn’t have and probably lied about her employment. Last time I checked people who work for the Federal Government are doing quite well for themselves and don’t need to harangue apartment owners about the price of their rentals.
You’ll Meet Some Weirdos
I’m not quite sure what’s in the water these days, this has never in all my years of renting happened, yet this month it has happened not once but twice. One thing is for sure when you’re leasing out apartments, you do meet some very strange people. The prime criteria is usually if the people will pay the rent but some potential tenants clearly reveal themselves as very problematic and you should avoid them. If you live in the same house this becomes even more important. It’s also no secret that when you’re renting you should try to match your tenants up, if possible. If you rent to a bad tenant with bad behaviours, they cause your good tenants to move and you definitely don’t need that!
8 Kinds of Tenants You Should Avoid
The Moral to this story is try to do your best to avoid the following kinds of people if you can afford to.
Tenants who are way too picky for their price range
Tenants who are liars
Tenants don’t respect boundaries or social conventions
Tenants with hard luck stories
Tenants complaining about their previous landlord
Tenants who are not “nice” people
Tenants that make you uncomfortable in any way even if you can’t exactly define it.
There’s more to being a good tenant than paying the rent. If you live in the same house these kinds of “soft” criteria become even more important. It’s hard to be patient when you’re having to pay the mortgage on an empty apartment but do your best to find the best tenant you can for the place you have. Some of these people become property management nightmares later on in the landlord tenant relationship. Depending on your management style you’ll want to give these characters a pass.