What are red flags of a bad tenant?

Tenant Red Flags

Rent Sign Under Home Shows Housing Rental

Selecting a good tenant is extremely important for any investor.  So you are beginning to interview applicants.  What are red flags of a bad tenant? Here are thirteen to consider.

  1. Are they on time for the appointment? If they can’t even be on time for the appointment, it’s likely that their rent won’t be on time either.
  2. What type of first impression did they make?
  3. What was their personal appearance and what did their car look like? How they take care of their personal belongings is probably how they’ll take care of the unit.
  4. Are there gaps in rental history? This could signify that were incarcerated or in a facility of some sort for a period of time. Ask questions.
  5. Did you see where they live now? That’s what your unit will look like.
  6. How many occupants will there be? This helps you predict the level of wear and tear to the unit.
  7. Any pets (or other dangerous animals)? Townships may have ordinances that only allow certain pets.
  8. Any long-term guests or adult children? What’s your policy? For example, are the people on the lease the only ones allowed to live there? Or, will the rent increase if an adult child moves home?
  9. Will they take the unit sight unseen? If they don’t seem to care about where they’re living, how well do you think they’ll take care of it?
  10. Are they flashing cash? This could signify that that the person is selling a drug or product illegally, has received some type of settlement (who you may have to evict later, if they don’t have a steady income), or maybe the previous landlord paid them to leave and they’re using that to money to get the new place.
  11. Do they want to pay the security deposit in installments? If they’re having trouble paying the security deposit, they may have trouble paying the rent. Of course, this isn’t always the case.
  12. Did they get upset you’re considering others? If they’re too aggressive, or get upset easily, they may get in your face or be very hard to please during their leasing period.
  13. Do they whine and complain about their current landlord? They could’ve had an awful landlord, or they may whine and complain about everything.

These are just some of the many red flags I’ve seen over the years, although not all of them will lead indefinitely to troublesome tenant situations.