Three Easy Ways to Identify a Problem Tenant

BY: HARINI V 06/11/2013

Bad TenantsThe skills to recognize a bothersome tenant can be invaluable to most landlords, as most people don’t just become a problem overnight. A certain behavior pattern will definitely show up when you start delving into their background, and there are a few tell-tale signs to look for when you begin your search of the potential tenant’s past history.

  1. Interview past landlords. Call and speak with the applicant’s past landlord(s) and listen carefully to their answers. If the applicant listed an individual as a landlord instead of a property management company, you need to be sure the person is actually a landlord and not a friend or family member. All too often, a problem tenant will try to hide their past bad behaviors by using a friend to act as the landlord.
  2. Confirm employer information. As with past landlords, problems tenants have been known to use friends and family to impersonate past or present employers, especially if they have recently lost their job. Make sure to have the potential tenant give at least two recent pay stubs. Also, call the current and even past employers to verify the tenant’s employment dates.
  3. Run a credit check. Another powerful insight into potential “problem” tenants is if they have little or no credit. Of course, younger tenants will more than likely not have a lot of credit, simply because of their young age. However, if an older tenant has no credit, be sure to run a background check and complete these other steps to ensure they are who they say they are. Many times, people who have an unsavory past, owe money to past landlords, have been evicted, or have a criminal background, will steal a social security number and use it to rent a unit. offers comprehensive background checks, including social security verification, credit checks, criminal history, and eviction checks.


Leave a Reply