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Discussion Starter #1
I posted a thread about a couple that I thought were scam artists before and it seems that quite a few people on this board have experience renting houses (being a landlord). I would like your input on this situation ...

We are screening new tenants. They had a credit issue in the past but are rebuilding their credit. They have provided references above and beyond what we asked for. Their references checked out (prior landlord, utility company, employer, company that gave them credit since and they have paid it off, etc.). They have provided copies of pay stubs. They have provided documentation re. the issue in the past and we have checked left and right to be sure that they are telling the truth (public records, background check, social media, etc.). We have not found anything that would indicate that they are not being truthful.

BUT ... their current landlord will not talk to me. They requested a copy of the written consent to speak to them (which I promptly provided) and the applicant also contacted the landlord to give them permission to speak to me. They indicated they do have a strained relationship with the landlord because the landlord will not make certain repairs (thus the reason why they want to move). They are not breaking a lease. It is family type business but the have many rental properties so they are probably busy. We have verified they own the home the applicants live in now.

Has anyone had this happen when checking references from a prospective tenant? How did you handle it?

I am thinking about requesting a copy of cancelled checks or receipts to show rent has been paid on time in lieu of the landlord reference. Good idea? Bad idea?
 

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prior 6 months reciepts or checks and i'd do it. I rent now but rented my house in VA right after i left to a very nice person in the army, where its actually illegal for you not to pay your rent. he rented it for 6 months then bought it from me.

i rented my place on a "i work over there" and a handshake, but being in such a small town everybody knows everybody anyway. heck the postal lady knew who i was when i went down to fill out the RR card for the carrier LOL. had only been here 1 day at the time.

point being if everything else seems to be ok, simple verify of payments, even bank statements where they can point out where the payment was made would suffice for me.
 

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I've seen former landlords refuse to cooperate because they were upset about losing a good tenant. OTH the state I had rentals in, nobody bothers to do credit checks anymore. Almost no renters there have good credit. I was in that business 30 yrs. In the beginning, it was great. Got a 100 calls a day when I had an opening. At the end, was lucky if I got 1 a week. Have a good friend, who inherited a rental. They thought that couldn't happen to them. 5 yrs later, and lots of money lost, it's empty and for sale. I would really keep an eye on the economy in your area.
 

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If you have checked them out thus far and things seem okay, I would say they are okay.

With the strained relationship with the landlord, there are several reasons why he could care less if you get ahold of him or not.
A. He is busy.
B. His paying tenants are trying to find a new place which will result in him doing the necessary repair work before he rents to someone new - why should he help them leave?
C. With the current tenants looking to move - the landlord is not looking forward to the work involved in getting new tenants - repairing the problems, cleaning, showing, checking references.

If you are still leery - tell them since you can't talk to their landlord, you have to ask for 2 or 3 months rent as a deposit. And let them know that they must pay their monthly rent on time - and the 2 or 3 months rent that is on deposit will be returned to them upon when they leave and they are still up to date with rent.
 

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It's VERY expensive to get into a rental here. You have to give a first and last month's rent plus a cleaning fee and a deposit (in case you leave it in disrepair). My oldest son's family just got into another rental and it cost almost $3000. :( Most rentals here also don't let you have pets and the ones that do,usually require a $500 deposit. The last rental they were in had it up for sale and didn't tell them so 6 months later, it sold and they had to move quickly. They lived with me for the last 4 months saving up money to get into another place closer to my son's job. I don't know how young families do it!!!!
 

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as a point of interest, you might want to read through the "rabbits in the house" thread here. renters have no vested interest in your house. I have had to clean up after puppy mills, dozens of cats, and one tenant even thought keeping a horse in the house was a great idea. I am currently cleaning up and repairing the damage after the "nicest elderly couple you ever met" (previous landlord highly recommended them) moved out a couple months ago. no pet damage, but for the life of me I do not understand why they cut a hole in the middle of the kitchen floor, ripped the ceilings out of two rooms, and the new carpets I had just put in three rooms vanished. I get the copper lines for the propane heaters all being missing, the price of copper is pretty high these days, didnt realize the value of those wall heaters though? This doesnt count the 3 or 4 thousand dirty diapers piled high throughout the house and back yard. :shrug:
 

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I know nightmares from renters as well, cost me thousands as well, finally sold them. Just could not keep up anymore. Just wonder if someone had to find $3000.00 or more how they do it. I know people that have rented the same house for 50 years, she is superintendent of Baltimore County Schools and he is a writer, so its not not having a good income that keeps them from buying. I would not be able to rent anything with that kind of money being needed.Geez. I too have my kids back home because the house they rented got sold fast and they had to move with a months notice, they sure dont have that kind of money for 1 2nd 3 rd month rent.
 

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I owned a home for twenty something years, now I rent and I am amazed at how much more I like being a renter then an owner . I have been in this current house for 5 years and the LL and I couldnt be happier with the set up.

One thing to keep in mind, my LL is a very busy farmer, I give him the rent check on the first , sometimes he doesnt deposit it 'til he gets to town a couple weeks later! His opinion of my payment history would be more realistic then bank records.
 

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month to month lease, 30 days notice to terminate, not a year long lease.
 
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This has been discussed before. One poster said their uncle would always look at the proposed renter’s car. If it was mess, he would not rent to them. Worked for him.
 

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This has been discussed before. One poster said their uncle would always look at the proposed renter’s car. If it was mess, he would not rent to them. Worked for him.
Good luck with that.. my last tenant (mentioned above) drove a very nice neat and tidy, nearly new Escalade. Somehow that didnt translate to good housekeeping!
 

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We have had excellent luck w/rental. DH screens everyone who ans ad by meeting them there & talking to them -always says there's someone ahead of that particular one he's interviewing. Once got talked into a single older lady with CATS! The smell when she moved was overpowering, took us forever to get it out. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, we offered them a lease. Everything else checked out. We drove by their house and it looked OK (they probably have not mowed in a week but that is about it). She mentioned that their current landlord is going through bankruptcy (which they are because I looked up the public records) so a lot of the issues with the current landlord (no maintenance on their current home) make sense. It is probably why they do not bother talking to others, sounds like they have bigger issues to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's VERY expensive to get into a rental here. You have to give a first and last month's rent plus a cleaning fee and a deposit (in case you leave it in disrepair). My oldest son's family just got into another rental and it cost almost $3000. :( Most rentals here also don't let you have pets and the ones that do,usually require a $500 deposit. The last rental they were in had it up for sale and didn't tell them so 6 months later, it sold and they had to move quickly. They lived with me for the last 4 months saving up money to get into another place closer to my son's job. I don't know how young families do it!!!!
I think it is just the cost of renting vs owning. I have rented and have been a landlord before. Even in our area where the rent is very low compared to when we lived in FL, the renters have to come up with $2,000 by the time they pay first month rent, security deposit, pet deposit and deposits on utilities (not with me, with the utility company). Where we lived in FL, this would add up to more than $3,000 for the same house. Of course, if they are decent renters, they should be getting their deposit back from the prior landlord so they should be able to turn that around quickly.
 
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