CALL LANDLORDS BEFORE APPROVING A TENANT
David Drescher, Master Landlords L.L.C. PrintEmailEDITED Mon, 21 June 2010 07:07:58 EDT
Don’t spend money on credit, criminal and eviction checks until after screening current and prior landlords. Recently, a prospective tenant filled out a rental application for a studio. She presented her pay-stub and driver’s license while the application was reviewed.
The next morning, her application was sent to the prior landlord who stated that she was not a leaseholder. Over the phone, Jane (not her real name) stated that her mother was on the lease but she paid the majority of the rent.
Next, her current landlord stated that the current month’s rent is 17 days late and that her lease expires in three months.
Instead of outright rejecting her for late payment of rent and breaking a lease, she was given an opportunity to provide documents to support her case. What follows are the emails exchanged between her (Jane) and me.
David: Please provide proof that your June rent was paid on time. Also, a copy of your lease is needed to verify its expiration date.
Jane: My June rent was taken out of the security deposit. I am getting out
of the lease, with permission of the owner. It was supposed to end in
David: The list of criteria used to qualify a prospective tenant includes:
Paid rent on time every month
Did not use security deposit to pay rent
Stayed the full term of the lease.
Your story is the same as the landlord's
Management has no record of the deposit applied to the rent.
Management states you are breaking the lease.
Jane: Yes, I am breaking the lease because the super on site is not
competant(sic). I guess this is not going to work out. Thank you for your
Contacting prior and current landlords is an essential part of the screening process. Use written criteria for screening prospective tenants. Request credit, criminal and eviction checks after the applicant passes all the screens.
David Drescher, Master Landlords L.L.C. David trains landlords how to effectively run their business. He can be reached at David@MasterLandlords.com; 973 233 4659.