How To Avoid The Professional Tenant

By Rudy Rudulph, November 3, 2016


If you own a rental property or have worked with a property management company you may have had the pleasure of meeting a professional tenant.

These are people who know federal, state and local landlord-tenant law inside and out and will drag a landlord through litigation while remaining in a property rental for sometimes up to two years without paying a cent.

It is much easier to screen these people out in the application process rather than having to evict them and there are red flags you can look for to determine if someone is a professional tenant.   Below is a list of red flags to keep your eye out for during the screening process.

1) Financial history with multiple bankruptcies and judgements.

2) No references, incomplete references, or obviously fake references.

3) Gaps in their rental history with no explanation.

4) A history of litigation with landlords and delinquencies.

5) They are very knowledgeable of landlord-tenant law and are not afraid to brag about their knowledge.

So now you know the red flags how do you protect yourself and create a through rental screening process.

1) Interview each applicant personally and ask about gaps in employment and rental history.

2) Perform a credit check.

3) Call every landlord reference and speak with them.

4) Verify employment information, court records and bankruptcy information.

If you keep your eyes open for these red flags and implement a strong screening process you very likely will protect yourself from the costly professional tenant in your home property rental.