June 24, 2024


Mad about real estate

The Worst Mistake You Can Make When You Apply to Rent a Home

A whole new class of people has become renters and potential renters in America during the last three years.


Home owners who were left by the side of the road by Runaway Foreclosures. For tens of thousands of the new renters, the process of looking to get permission to live in a house owned by someone else is daunting. What to say, how much to reveal of events they would like to forget.

As a landlord who has talked to far too many of these people who should have still been in their homes enjoying life, my answer is simply be yourself and tell the truth and do not give the impression that everything is someone else’s fault. Landlords often have the potential to be people too. And, anyone of them that you would like to be associated for the next year or two or more, understands what has happened in the real estate market, needs to rent their properties and will be willing to work with someone who appears willing to be a good partner.

I recently got a call from a man looking to rent one of our houses. After some rapport building dialogue, right out of the pages of 911forlandlords, he proceeded to tell me most of his life history.

He was renting now. It wasn’t his fault that he was not in his home any more. The bank was a crook. He had water damage in the rental bath room. The landlord was not cooperative. The landlord had come to fix the bathroom and had left the home without fixing anything after the tenant wife asked the landlord a few innocent questions. Landlord lacked communication skills.

Landlord had then sent him a notice that his lease had expired and he had 30 days to move. Obviously the landlord had broken the law and he was going to sue the landlord.

Let me compare this brief conversation with one had two weeks earlier. The caller said she was calling on the house at 123 Main Street that she had seen listed on our web site. She said she had been served a three day notice to vacate. The reason was she had fallen behind in the rent six months ago, had worked out a payment schedule with the landlord. Had made all required payments under the agreement.

. She explained why they had fallen behind and took responsibility for falling behind. The landlord has sold the apartment building where she lived and the new landlord would not honor the previous agreement. She said she had all the documentation. The agreement from the previous landlord and the three day notice to vacate and the current lease and proof of payments for the last year. Do you need water damage restoration las vegas?

She also told me more than two dozen landlords had already turned her down. If these two applicants were used to illustrate the biggest mistake you can make the case,

It would appear that the second person had failed to find a place to live because she told the truth and the first guy was simply obnoxious. But I think a second look and projecting into the future gives a totally different view. In the first example, the tenant in his conversation took no responsibility for anything that had happened.

I have seen and heard about some reeeeeally bad landlords, but few of them are always bad, all of the time. I would believe someone who always thought the landlords was scum, would probably think the same of me. And probably soon. The second admitted mistakes. Which mostly makes her human. She claimed she had tried in a cooperative way to work the problem out and by admitting she had been repeatedly turned down made me believe she would be truthful about things in the futures and would strive to be cooperative with me.

I checked out her story. I never bothered to check on anything the first person said. (And I did not lie when I told him I would email him if I had a home in the future that would be right for him. My guess is I will not find anything, ever for a person who is always right and never has done something wrong. In the current market, where almost everyone had major stress fractures in their credit history, the worst mistake you can make as a prospective tenant—or landlord—is to lie to the other person, realizing you will have to deal with them over a long period of time.

A lie by the second prospect might have gotten her a home before she found me, if the landlord had failed to check out the application thoroughly. But the truth is today it is pretty easy and cheap to check out an application. So, she told the truth up front, some people said “no.” When she got to “yes” it was yes under the right conditions. She had not presented anyone else’s bad actions as the reason for her need to move. She appeared to be responsible person who had had several bad things happen to her. Some her fault, and some not.

After my check, I believed she was honest, responsible and willing to work cooperatively in solving problems. Pretty good traits.

For landlords and tenants both, the best advice today is Never Lie, Take responsibility for what you have done. And, show that you are willing to listen and work with others.

It may take a little longer to find a home or a renter, but it should make the relationship longer and smoother.