You Got 49 Problems, But This Tenant Ain’t One


You Got 49 Problems, But This Tenant Ain’t One

We could probably have brainstormed another 50, but we didn’t want to run into intellectual property issues.

A couple wearing 'Problems 99' and 'Ain't 1' jerseys.Last week, we talked a bit about how to know if a property management company wasn’t right for you. Today, we’re taking a step down the chain and having a bit of fun: here’s 49 reasons why a tenant isn’t right for your property, and what each reason means.

They try to negotiate the rent before they’ve seen the property: They can’t afford it.

  1. They haggle over every cost: They can’t afford it.
  2. They ask a lot of questions about how the deposits work: They intend to leave a mess.
  3. They pay a lot of attention to smoke alarms: They’re going to smoke inside.
  4. They ask if the window screens come out: They’re going to smoke inside.
  5. They pay a lot of attention to sprinklers: Same thing, or insurance scammer.
  6. They smell like weed: So will your house.
  7. They come to the showing drunk: Your house will reek of alcohol.
  8. They find problems that don’t exist during the showing: They will always complain.
  9. They yell constantly, even when talking: The neighbors will always complain.
  10. They ask personal questions about neighbors: They’re casing the neighborhood.
  11. They make you uncomfortable: They’ll make the neighbors uncomfortable, too.
  12. They hate animals: If your neighbors have pets, prepare for trouble.
  13. They hate kids: See above.
  14. They’re “soon to be employed”: They can’t afford it.
  15. They’re “starting a business”: Ditto.
  16. Their previous landlord is “Mom”: They don’t know how to pay bills or budget.
  17. Their parent handles all transactions: Ditto.
  18. All of their references are relatives: They have no friends or co-workers backing them.
  19. All of their references have the same phone voice: See above.
  20. They want to ‘test’ the fire escape: What will they be doing that they need to escape?
  21. They dis the neighbors before they’ve even met: The neighbors will always complain.
  22. They don’t seem to care about the property: Then why are they even there?
  23. They ask if any neighbors are cops: Why would a good tenant care?
  24. They dis the property as they see it: They’re going to try to get freebies by acting jerky.
  25. They flinch or hide from security cameras: Criminals.
  26. They search the laundry/vending machines for change: They can’t afford it.
  27. They try to get around the application process: Criminals.
  28. They put off signing until the last day: They’re disorganized or hiding something.
  29.  They can’t find time for the showing: They don’t care enough and won’t sign the lease.
  30. They MUST move in NOW: They’re trying to get around the screening process.
  31. They get angry at the screening process: Ditto.
  32. Their previous landlord doesn’t seem to exist: Their landlord kicked them out.
  33. They don’t want to give their information: Criminals. Or anti-government crazies.
  34. Their information is inconsistent: The would-be tenant is scamming you.
  35. They try to buy their way in: They’re trying to get around the screening process.
  36. They act like the property is already theirs/’bulldoze’ you: Ditto.
  37. All their past (roommates/bosses/landlords) were crazy: They’re crazy.
  38. They have pets, but can’t name a veterinarian: Their pets are going to be a problem.
  39. They’re renting on behalf of someone you’ve never met: Criminals, unless they’re immigrating to the country and have documentation to prove it.
  40. They litter during the showing: They’re going to treat your property like crap.
  41. They want a payment plan for the deposits: They can’t afford it.
  42. Their kids/pets run rampant during the showing: And will continue to do so.
  43. They argue with each other during the showing: The neighbors will always complain.
  44. None of their references are professionals: They tend to burn bridges. (Kids excepted.)
  45. They can’t give a straight answer: They’re going to have a lot of excuses in the future.
  46. They don’t take good care of themselves: They won’t take good care of the property.
  47.  They need to see if they can get the money together: They can’t afford it.
  48. You wouldn’t want to live with them, and you can’t figure out why: Your instincts are your best defense — don’t hesitate to decline someone because they give you the willies. All you’ll do is regret it when you finally figure out what it was, and by then, it may be too late.

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