How to Tell Which Applicants Are Serious About Your Rental

Property & Architecture
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Being a landlord isn’t as easy as one might think. There are rules and regulations to be followed, on top of the fact that often times, you go through the entire process of approving an applicant and they then change their minds about the rental.

There are always signs that applicants may not quite be what you want in your rental as well. As a first-time landlord, you’ve read all the books, followed all the tips, but still aren’t sure about the warning signs.

You can start by making things a little easier on yourself. Read on below to help you determine which applicants aren’t serious about your rental, and learn some warning signs to shy away from them as well.

They hem and haw about filling out an application

If a tenant is unwilling to fill out the full application or they don’t fill it out properly, then it’s a pretty safe bet that they aren’t serious about renting from you. Instead of chasing them down to get them to fill in all of the information, move onto the next applicant on your list, who has done as they were told.

Especially since applications can mostly be filled out online nowadays, mainly through reputable landlord software companies like Turbo Tenant, there shouldn’t be any reason to avoid the application.

They come with a large group of people

Anyone who is serious about renting a place for themselves and their immediate family will come alone (or with a friend) and tour the property first. If you have a potential tenant show up with a large group of people, it should raise a red flag right away.

While this may not indicate that they’ll be a bad tenant, it does mean the possibility is there for a large amount of traffic coming in and out of the property. Of course, it could just be a concerned family wanting to ensure their family member is moving into a well-kept, safe place, so judge this one carefully.

They have had multiple jobs

One of the first questions you ask a potential tenant is who they work for and a little about past employers on a rental application. While switching jobs because they had to relocate or to make more money isn’t a bad thing, if you notice they switched jobs multiple times and can’t give you a valid reason for doing so, it could mean they aren’t very reliable.

A lack of interest

If the tenant fills out an application and wants to rent the property sight unseen, it should send up several warning flags for you. Anyone who is willing to pay money to rent something they haven’t even seen is certainly a risk, and might just skip out on the entire thing.

Also, if they don’t seem interested in the property, it’s a key sign that they don’t intend to be there for long or that they won’t take care of the property, both things you want to avoid with potential tenants.

A lack of rental history

While everyone has to start somewhere, and this is totally up to you as a landlord, a lack of rental history can mean a number of things, and not all of them are good. Someone who is out of college and never lived with anyone but friends may be trying to hide their rental history.

These are just a few ways to tell if an applicant may not be serious about your rental. While you have to be careful how you reject an applicant, you also have to be careful and not rent to just anyone.


Image Credits: Jarek Ceborski

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