Landlord's Learning Center- My Top Ten Things an Applicant Should NEVER Say...And WHY?

Property Manager with Investors Choice Property Management CAL BRE LIC# 01124954

Fellow ActiveRain neighbors- This one is just for my own sanity, as it helps to list the things that slowly drive us just a little closer to crazy over the years. Maybe you can identify with one or more of these beauties, offered purely in jest (with a healthy dash of reality):

1. Reminding the property manager that "this is my 2nd call."

We return all business calls within 2 business hours, but this still comes up as impatient people (those whom the world clearly revolves around) will call at 11pm, then 6am, then 7am. Starting out crabby is never a good way to go.

2. "We are really clean."

9 times out of 10 this means you are anything BUT clean, as neat and tidy people never point this out; it just comes naturally.

3. "We have NEVER been evicted."

Yet. Again, good tenants don't feel the need to point out an obvious truth or seek recognition for something that your supposed to do. You should never be evicted, but just because you haven't, it doesn't mean congratulations are in order.

4. "We have the cash to move in right NOW."

Smells of desperation. A well qualified tenant assumes we, as property managers, will be verifying employment and income, so they have little reason for pointing out the obvious.

5. "We really love the place and hope we get it...God help us."

Now this is a tough one, because I consider myself a decent Christian, but I think the almighty has more important things to attend to that doctoring up a bad credit report. If credit is the issue, we encourage applicants to discuss this with us before we run the application, in the hope that we can, at the very least, spare them a wasted application fee.

6. "I have an eviction, but it was from before when I had a roommate, so it wasn't  MY fault."

In life, we are often judged by the company we keep. If a rental unit is damaged or the rent is unpaid, the responsibility lies with each and every occupant, as they are all "jointly and severally liable".

7. "I have bad credit, but I went through a divorce, so it was my ex-husband's/wife's fault"

Pretty much the same as #6. We log it under the subheading "It wasn't me, except it really was".

8. "How much is the Late Fee?"

One of the worst questions an applicant can ask, as it gives us a glimpse of future headaches as yet unfelt.

9. "My boyfriend/girlfriend has an eviction, so can we just run the application under MY name?"

It amazes me how often this one comes up. Granted, I go out of my way to look more casual and approachable than most in my profession, and it pays off. People will actually confide in me with the idea being that I will help them dupe our owner client into renting a property to them. Hmmm, will I lie to my client to help you out, because I am just such a nice guy? Let me think- NO.

10. "My dog? Oh.....he's a MIX."

99% of the time, mix=pit bull. Any time I hear this one, we either review photos of the animal, or meet it in person. Non-Pit bull mixes have more specific names (i.e. labradoodle, tiny mutt, etc.). Beware the "Mix".


Investors Choice Property Management (ICPM) manages 110 single-family units with the care and diligence our Landlord clients deserve, in a manner that has them referring their friends, co-workers and family members. With over 16 years professional property management experience, our business is 95% word-of-mouth referral, we do NO Sales, we do NOT markup repairs, and pay among the highest referral fees in the industry for management accounts. Visit our website at today for more details, and find out what we mean when we say:

“Experience Property Management the Way it Should Be.”

Comments (3)

Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Thomas, Here is one you missed: We are non-smokers!, Since when- I saw you throw a butt out the window as you were pulling in and you smell like an ash-tray.

Feb 21, 2009 05:52 AM
Kimberly Thurm
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chicago - Naperville, IL
Broker / Relocation Consultant ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR

I love it - How about; can we move in early, like tomorrow?  I don't have very much stuff to move in.  Matter of fact I have it all with me.

Feb 21, 2009 05:57 AM
Thomas R. Martin Broker/Owner ICPM
Investors Choice Property Management - Sacramento, CA
Property Management the way it SHOULD be.

You DO understand! I thought it was just me. Guess I can stay sane another year or two knowing I am not alone and all the flakes don't congregate towards my office. Thanks.

Feb 21, 2009 06:05 AM