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More Questions to Trap a Bad Renter

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Can I talk to your current landlord?

There will often be some reason why you can't talk to them. They currently just live with someone, or they are getting a divorce. There are as many excuses as there are bad renters. The excuses for why you can't talk to a previous landlord are often the tipoff to a bad renter.

Why are you leaving your current housing situation?

Sometime a scammer has not preplanned an answer to this question? You want to catch them off guard. They obviously can't say that they sucked all the life our of their current landlord and need to move on to a fresh victim. The key here is that a bad renter will not answer truthfully, but they may answer in a way that strikes you as odd or inconsistent with other information they have given you.

Whose are all of the people you will rely on to pay the rent?

A LOT of unmarried people rent. People combine incomes, disability payments or child-support payments to make the rent. You need to know up front who is paying the rent because relationships are VERY transient. People move out, people break up, etc. When a key rent-payer is gone, problems are coming. Often they will tell you about parents who will be giving them money to help with rent. This money almost NEVER comes through. You need to make sure they have the financial ability to cover the rent without this phantom additional money.

Can I speak to your manager at work?

People who claim to have a great job will often clam up.when you want to talk to their manager. A manager will be happy to help a good employee find a place to live, but will often be less helpful for problem employees. A scammer will not want you to talk to their boss. They are often transient workers bouncing from one job to another just as they bounce from one rental to another.

Is there anything else I need to know to evaluate your application?

An open-ended question like this can draw out information that you'd never think to ask about. Sometime they will try to explain away some negative that you have yet to pick up on. Maybe they'll mention something that another landlord has rejected them for in an effort to diffuse it. It never hurts to ask.

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