The Rental Applicant Intimidation Factor

Carolyn Gibson

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Most of the time, your search for a tenant to rent your vacant apartment will go smoothly. Occasionally though, there may come an applicant that makes you feel uncomfortable. Also, he or she may show you a few signs during the decision process that your rental applicant could mean future trouble.

There are also definite signs that perhaps you should take a pass on a person. These signs do not have to be part of your intuition. Rather, most are very specific, and often intimidating signs that you should take a pass on the applicant.

You need to think about the kind of professional relationship you want with your future tenant. Make note of these types of issues you have with your rental applicant. Consider them when making your rental decisions:

He or she questions every decision or part of your application process;

Every discussion becomes a debate between what you are doing regarding your process, and what he or she thinks you should be doing;

He or she tries to rush you through the process, constantly calling you for an answer, despite saying repeatedly you will get back to him or her when you have completed your course of action;

The applicant appears to have a short temper, especially when you ask specific questions;

The applicant makes you feel nervous whenever he or she is around you;

He or she does not want to give you information you have a legal right to have to make informed decisions;

You feel severely intimidated by the applicant because he or she tends to yell or raise his/her voice when he/she hears something they do not like, or, stands over you or very close to you when making a point or, points his or her finger in your face when talking, etc.

You smell alcohol on the applicant’s breath each time you meet;

The applicant appears to be under the influence of something more than alcohol – eyes are dilated, the person acts fidgety, can’t seem to stay still, etc.

I call these intimidation factors, regardless of whether or not the applicant is doing it on purpose or unconsciously. One or more should cause you to think twice about the candidate.

You want a long-term tenancy period over a number of years that will be free from stress, constant questioning of your authority as the homeowner, or your house rules, and constant bickering. If you and the applicant are not getting along before you even complete the process, it will not get better after he or she moves in.

You should make a note of the date and time you have these types of encounters with an applicant, and include it in their file folder. Then, when it comes time to decide between one applicant or another, your notes can remind you of situations in which you felt you and the applicant were not on the same page.

You do not have to rent to a person who makes you feel uncomfortable, or out of place in your own home. Take detailed notes, then move on to other applications.


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