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10 Potential Tenant Red Flags.

Do you know that the number one reason why people do not buy rental property, is the fear of having bad tenants.

Bad tenants can be an absolute nightmare for a property owner in so many ways. Many property owners are of the opinion that it is better to have a property vacant for a few months, rather than months of late fees and court dates. This is why it is so important to do your due diligence before signing a lease, it is very difficult to evict later.

 Here are 10 potential tenant red flags.

  1. Not Enough Income – This one is simple. Why would you rent to someone who cannot afford it? The potential client needs to be able to cover the monthly rent, not just the move in cost. Rule of thumb within the industry is to accept nothing less than two to three times the monthly rent.


  1. Currently Unemployed – Don’t fall for the sad stories and excuses of potential tenants. Be firm with your screening criteria. If they do not have a job or some form of steady income, they will have a hard time maintaining their rent payments.



  1. Quick Move In – If an applicant is pulling up to your property to apply with a move in truck, it may be a bad sign. It is likely that they are being evicted, they may have skipped out on their previous unit, or left the property without notice. It is worthwhile to do some investigating to understand the situation before moving forward with this tenant.


  1. Bad Credit Score – A bad credit score is going to be an important red flag to look out for and is self-explanatory. A bad credit score can indicate that this person has a history of not paying on time with previous debts. If they are not paying previous debts, they are likely at a high risk of paying rent on time.


  1. Prior Evictions – Prior Evictions are one of the bigger red flags to be on the look out for. If they have a history of evictions, you should avoid renting to them. Evictions can be very costly and extremely time consuming.


  1. Criminal Records – Criminal records can be a red flag when screening applicants. You don’t want a tenant that will pose a threat to you or your neighbors. Make sure you have a written policy that involve Fair Housing Laws when reviewing a tenant’s criminal history.


  1. Landlord References – Follow up with their landlord references. If they have a poor rental history, you do not want to rent to them. When doing this, look out for tenants who may name friend and family members as prior landlords.


  1. Lying on the application – Pretty straightforward. You do not want to rent to someone who is dishonest. Fake pay stubs and rental references are extremely easy to get nowadays, so be sure to double check these.


  1. Incomplete Application – Submitting an incomplete application is a red flag in many instances. Holes in their application may suggest that they are trying to hide something. It is good to follow up to understand why it’s incomplete however, be very careful moving forward with this applicant.


  1. Behavioral Issues – If an applicant is stirring up trouble with you or with your team members from the start, chances are you will have the same experience with them throughout the lease term. Save yourself the future headache and move to the next tenant.


Selecting the wrong tenant can quickly cost you what you save by managing a property yourself. Real Property Management Prestige evaluates every tenant application based on credit, criminal background, sex offender registry (where allowed by law), employment verification and residency/rental history. Our thorough screening complies with all applicable laws, including Fair Housing and Fair Credit Reporting Act.

When we find a qualified tenant, we will schedule a lease signing session and a move-in condition evaluation after approval.

For more information on our management service, please contact us at 281-984-7463 or


We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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