Watch Out for These 5 Tenant Red Flags


July 20, 2018

So you’ve decided to rent out your apartment? Now you are currently searching for tenants. As a landlord, the last thing you want is to rent your precious property to problematic tenants. Finding the right tenant starts when you receive an application and continues with the screening process. Here are five tenant red flags to help you detect an unsuitable tenant:

1) A low ratio of rent to income

As a landlord, one of the primary factors to look at is whether the tenant has the money to pay the rent on time. Your best shot at acquiring such information is to request a salary certificate and recent payslip. If they are unwilling to approve a credit check, there is a high likelihood they are hiding something.

So, what should you be looking for while running a credit check? What is the minimum acceptable threshold? Typically, the rent should not exceed 30% of the tenant’s net salary. If it exceeds that, then they are probably stretching themselves. You should ask them if they have any additional source of income or if they will share the rent cost with another person.

2) Criminal record

According to the new work visa application procedure, all visa applicants must get a Certificate of Good Conduct. While this is not meant for tenancy applications, it is still a good idea to request it from your potential tenant. Most tenants have nothing to hide and, if you ask politely, they will understand your request. Basically, you want to avoid hosting tenants that have had repeated legal issues. Past behavior is a pretty good indicator of the future.

hands gripping through prison bars

Find out if your tenant has a shady past

3) Peculiar behavior during the interview

Look for strange behaviors. For example, do they look you in the eyes when discussing things, or are they too nervous? If the answer is yes, they could be hiding something you should know about. What is the explanation for the gaps in the application they presented? If they have no idea as to how to answer specific questions, you should question their honesty and probe until you get the answers you need.

4) Inconsistent employment history

While this is not that important, it is always safer to rent your apartment to people with stable careers. Such individuals have a steady income and have access to benefits like house allowance and health insurance. It is less likely for people like this to face financial challenges while renting your place.

5) Dishonesty

If the tenant is honest, every piece of information they give on the application will eventually match with the background check. Anyone who would lie on their application, give false references or employment history is not worth your time. If they lie today, they may lie to you further on down the road.

In conclusion, as a landlord, it is essential to rent your place to suitable tenants. You should use a strict tenant screening process. Watch out for the above-listed tenant red flags or employ the help of an agency and you should be able to get trouble-free tenants. Alternatively, you can rent your property to Blueground. We take the pressure of the screening process off your shoulders, so you have nothing to worry about.


United Arab Emirates