New Red Flags
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Feb 17, 2022 9:42 AM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 10:25 AM
       New Red Flags (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 17, 2022 10:28 AM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 10:36 AM
       New Red Flags (by Busy [WI]) Feb 17, 2022 10:37 AM
       New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Feb 17, 2022 10:38 AM
       New Red Flags (by WMH [NC]) Feb 17, 2022 10:41 AM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 10:42 AM
       New Red Flags (by S i d [MO]) Feb 17, 2022 11:07 AM
       New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Feb 17, 2022 11:13 AM
       New Red Flags (by Sisco [MO]) Feb 17, 2022 11:16 AM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 11:20 AM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 11:35 AM
       New Red Flags (by Jim in O C [CA]) Feb 17, 2022 11:38 AM
       New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Feb 17, 2022 11:43 AM
       New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Feb 17, 2022 12:33 PM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 12:42 PM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 12:43 PM
       New Red Flags (by Scott [IN]) Feb 17, 2022 1:01 PM
       New Red Flags (by Vee [OH]) Feb 17, 2022 1:14 PM
       New Red Flags (by Ken [NY]) Feb 17, 2022 2:13 PM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 2:23 PM
       New Red Flags (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Feb 17, 2022 2:25 PM
       New Red Flags (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Feb 17, 2022 2:31 PM
       New Red Flags (by Nicole [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 2:36 PM
       New Red Flags (by MC [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 2:41 PM
       New Red Flags (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 17, 2022 4:15 PM
       New Red Flags (by Sisco [MO]) Feb 17, 2022 4:30 PM
       New Red Flags (by Homer [TX]) Feb 17, 2022 5:01 PM
       New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Feb 17, 2022 5:05 PM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 5:08 PM
       New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Feb 17, 2022 5:34 PM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 5:47 PM
       New Red Flags (by 6x6 [TN]) Feb 17, 2022 6:26 PM
       New Red Flags (by Ken [NY]) Feb 17, 2022 6:43 PM
       New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Feb 17, 2022 6:46 PM
       New Red Flags (by Robert J [CA]) Feb 17, 2022 6:51 PM
       New Red Flags (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Feb 17, 2022 7:38 PM
       New Red Flags (by MAP [NY]) Feb 17, 2022 7:50 PM
       New Red Flags (by Dee Ann [WI]) Feb 18, 2022 6:17 AM
       New Red Flags (by MAP [NY]) Feb 18, 2022 8:58 AM
       New Red Flags (by LordZen [MA]) Feb 24, 2022 8:50 PM

New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 9:42 AM

With my only vacancy, I have been flooded with applicants from my Zillow Ad. I have 8 applications in front of me now and more are on the way. Last night, I shut-down (paused it) my Zillow Ad to help slow down the tsunami of prospects who seem 'desperate' to rent my little no-frills 2/1 house down in a Class D hood. In all my 16 years as a LL, I never seen anything like this. Is anyone else here experiencing this?

This post here has to do with some new Red Flags that I have seen pop-up in just in the last 24 hours. I have one applicant who claims to make over $100,000 / year and she works at a Toyota dealership. I have not had time to verify this claim yet, but why would anyone who makes over $100K want to rent my house in the hood for $650.00/month? This is one of many 'red flags' I am seeing now but the $100K applicant just blows my mind! She is even sending me Text messages wanting to know when I will make a decision on her application.

Among all of the applicants, there seems to be a 'sense of desperation' among them to rent something right now. In past, I have always avoided renting to desperate people but now it seems they are all desperate for some unknown reason.

Just trying to make sense of an insane situation.

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 10:25 AM

Realistically, who cares what they say and why. Until itís verified, itís all guff.

New Red Flags (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 10:28 AM

I often have over qualified applicants want to rent my most modest rentals. Some people just truly live beneath their means. And in this market there is not much available so I am not surprised by what you are seeing.

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 10:36 AM

Good point Lisa. I had a $250,000/yr income tenant rent a $725/mo house off me for 5-6 years. He was in the area for work and had a 300 acre farm back home in Wisconsin. I wish he never left.

New Red Flags (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 10:37 AM

Had that last spring. I figure it was because everybody, including tenants and landlords are stressed from the upheaval. The tenant I placed was stressed because they were going on their third place since pandemic started. Two landlords decided to upgrade the house and sell. What tenant didn't know was their 'lawyer friend' was likely selling landlord info on 'distressed landlord' lists. I know this because when we hit a bump in the road, tenant said would discuss with the 'lawyer-friend'. My phone immediately blew up with ' We wanna buy...' calls and texts, and each time tenant mentioned talking to lawyer-friend over the fall. Tenant's family helped tremendously, as they saw tenant needed to settle down.

So, tenants may find themselves moving when they weren't planning on it, AND, rent was always in on time, house kept spotless. My tenant just has a prickly personality, but I can deal with that, I just need to look in mirror to see another prickly personality , lol!, also my tenant smokes, has big dog, which I allow. But, tenant wasn't going to be upfront about smokes or old pup. Was just planning on sneaking those often tenants do....So, in my case, tenant unwittingly caused their own move-out in the past. We'll likely be fine together for years.

So, I say, screen as usual. There may be those who look like unicorns, and it scares ya, but, just stay the course, screen as usual. Some years ago, I had a tenant who looked so good beyond belief for my little house. Everything screened well, she was a great tenant for almost four years. She travelled extensively for her job out of country, but had a child still finishing high school. The apartment they were in had gotten more crime in the area, she needed safer neighborhood. I almost choked, but kept a straight face. My rentals are in a very violent city. Some consider none of the neighborhoods to be safe. This tenant was an excellent tenant, moved out-of-state after youngest went off to college out-of-state. When I was screening this applicant, I kept thinking, ' Why isn't she buying a nice condo in a downtown high rise or something? ' She was just practical, frugal, and was planning for kids' college expenses. Not my typical applicant.

People surprise me sometimes. Just wish I had the crystal ball.

New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 10:38 AM


When I rent to over qualified applicants, it usually creates a vacancy within 3 months. It all goes back to putting a Class B tenant in a D hood. I want someone who will stay put for a least 2 years.

New Red Flags (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 10:41 AM

Even the most qualified tenants are desperate here. EVERYONE is selling or converting to AirBnB or Vacation Rentals. Just saw a guy post on a housing group - he is the owner of a local pizza place, been in business for a long time but never bought a house, he's been renting the same one for it's being sold and there is NOTHING out there, NOTHING.

There are exactly 5 houses listed on CL for long-term rental.

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 10:42 AM

Roy, early termination fee. Put your vacancy fears to rest. Iíve had people leave within 48 hours of signing lease charged them 1.5 months rent, re-advertised and re-rented. Itís like money from heaven. Let them all leave early. Wait, is this an advice thread or round table thread?

New Red Flags (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 11:07 AM

And THIS is the red flag of why you RAISE RENTS! (*grins) I posted two vacancies on Tuesday and my inbox has been flooded with suuuuuuper interested people, most of whom are unqualified tire kickers, but I already have 3 apps in hand for one house and 1 app for the other, all of which look promising as long as their data checks out.

This is the "new normal" I was talking about in Class C rentals earlier this week. Rents are skyrocketing. Prices are climbing. Govt funny money is eroding the value of the dollar. Inventory is not keeping up with demand.

I've looked at several articles from the past 4-5 years, and while estimates vary, somewhere between 1.3 to 1.7 million housing "units" are lost every year. The US Homebuilders Association estimates we need to ADD 7 million units per year just to keep up with current demand, but in 2021 only about 1.5 million were built. There is a sever shortage: we're barely replacing the number of units dropping out of service, and as far as adding more units? Nope.

And as we have noted, the 1.5 million units being built are mostly nicer own-occ places, not rental houses. Sure apartments are being built, but many people want to rent houses. HOUSES are in high demand, as seen by the rising rent rates and cost to buy even our little 2 bedroom houses.

No one is building 2 bedroom houses. No one. Let that sink into your mind. You own a scarce commodity that is only getting scarcer by the year. Each year, how many older 2 bedroom houses are falling down, burning down, flooding, being bulldozed by cities?

This is why our values are finally climbing. For decades, our little houses were the laughing stock of 3-bedroom house investors. No appreciation of value. Stagnant rents. But now the old neighborhoods are home to a vanishing species: the "affordable 2 bedroom SFH". They are doing the way of the Dodo bird.

Treasure them. Profit from them!

New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 11:13 AM


In 2022, I switched over to MTM agreements only. 1 year leases with ELT's tie my hands too much. Plus, I do not chase deadbeats in court in the pursuit of nickel and dime garnishments either.

All of my posts are roundtable,...unless I am desperate for information and in those rare cases, I will specifically ask YOU for your advice.

New Red Flags (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 11:16 AM

Roy, the tsunami of applicants is the new normal.

This is the reason that the copy and paste text reply, lockbox showings mode of operation was shared on this forum.

I canít keep up using old timey methods of voice calls, answering questions while screening, setting an appointment for viewing.

Why you havenít had to deal with it before now is a mystery.

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 11:20 AM

Good to know. I will proceed to answer them as if you are asking for advice. Ya know, for the newbies who may be reading here.


New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 11:35 AM

Sisco, That is also another good point. A lot of landlords fail to automate. They also fail to realize that all a lot of the inquiries that they get can come from websites that auto populate responses. So the applicant gets a choice of several things to fill in the blank with and click on several questions to ask and they just go crazy with it. So the landlord that doesnít automate has to deal with all the stuff and try to make sense of it. Versus forcing them to come through your system and removing all of that nonsense. --174.198.xx.xx

New Red Flags (by Jim in O C [CA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 11:38 AM

Last year I had over 20 inquires on my condo and 40 inquires on my 4 BR. I deleted the ad in 12 hours.

New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 11:43 AM


I wish now I had set my advertised rent at $950/month instead of $650.00. (2 years ago, my Zillow advertised rent was $550).

I am stuck at $650 for now. It is what is, but on my next vacancy, I will pay more attention to my asking rents.

Oh, BTW,...$650 x 12 months = $7,800 / $20,000 = 39% ROI

This is the reason I just love Class C and D hoods!

New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 12:33 PM

Sisco and NE,

I will admit that I still cling to my fashioned LLing ways, however, I also operate my business on the old adage,.."if it ain't broke,..don't fix it!"

And my 'system' or way of doing things, is not broke. It is not the most efficient system, but it ain't broke either. It still works for me.

One of my prospects this week told me why she wants to rent my house and not any of the others she has looked at. Her exact answer was, "you are the only LL in this town who actually answers his phone and you personally invited me to come and see your house today".

For this reason, I don't think I need to make any major or minor changes to my 'system'.

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 12:42 PM

Roy, you are being left behind. --174.198.xx.xx

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 12:43 PM

Also, in regards to if it ainít broke, donít fix it. Sometimes people donít realize that somethings broken. Thereís so in love with it but just refuse to admit itís broke. Talking on the phone with tenants that are coming to rent from you in todayís day and age is antiquated. Itís a dead process. --174.198.xx.xx

New Red Flags (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 1:01 PM


an overwhelming response to your ad doesn't necessarily mean that the unit is underpriced. It might be a LOT of recently evicted deadbeats kicking your tires.

New Red Flags (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 1:14 PM

Pull the AD, replace something like a -leaky faucet- or a toilet tank. Now relist with the 925 price on the smoke free unit and the possibility that you could lower the rent after 3 months of trouble free occupancy is kept silent until you actually cross that bridge.

New Red Flags (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 2:13 PM

NE,what is wrong with being left handed?

Roy,I would cancel the ad and rewrite it and put it back up saturday,if anyone catches it and says anything tell them your assistant made a mistake and was fired

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 2:23 PM

Iím left-handed. So nothing I guess. Except that B.H.O was left-handed. That could be a negative. --174.198.xx.xx

New Red Flags (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 2:25 PM

I take phone calls. The phone and the in-person showing are all part of the screening process. In 40 years of rentals, I've never had an eviction and only had to ask 3 tenants to leave. Careful screening saves a lot of work in the future.

If you never meet your applicants, how do you know who is lying about smoking, who has out of control pets or kids, who has a swastika tattooed on their forehead, or needle tracks, or stinks of pot?

You thing I am old fashioned and I think you are lazy. Difference of opinion.

New Red Flags (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 2:31 PM

Roy, my experience is that tenants stretch to pay as much as they can for a rental to get the best place they can qualify for.

There are exceptions, although they are not common. I had a guy making $250,000 a year and he rented a $600 a month 30 year old mobile home from me. He was with me for four years and then he bought a house for $600,000, paying all cash. A great tenant and I wish I could find more like him.

He was the only one, though, as long as I don't count my son who has lived occasionally in one of my rentals while he had high income and rentals of his own. I don't really think of my son as a tenant, so I don't count him.

New Red Flags (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 2:36 PM

I also apparently left handed although I hold a fork and a pen in my right hand.

I am small time compared to many on here. I have been around doing this long before technology. I don't allow folks to call me - I have them submit via e-mail my simple, basic requests. If that checks outwith public records, I schedule an in person showing. I hold open houses and those have been zoos the past three or four years but it's a few hours two times and I always end up with a tenant. I have at most three turn overs a year. So ... less than 10 hours to get a new tenant... I'm okay with that.

If I had 20 turn overs a year, it would be different. And no, I don't need those 10 hours back in my life to do anything of world changing proportions. Same reason I go into the bank rather than mobile deposit or drive through. Same reason I pick up to go orders at restaurants rather than door dash. Same reason I go to the local coffee shop rather than drive through Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks (plus I would never pay those prices). Human contact and interaction. I talk to people I know and I meet people I don't know.

New Red Flags (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 2:41 PM

We have a vacancy coming up and I know it won't be pretty. So many people, so much BS. I don't feel bad when I take app money and find out you have a criminal past. Just be honest and we can both save time and money.

New Red Flags (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 4:15 PM

My experience is like Oregon Woodsmokeís. I had a professional man with an income of 100k rent a 1972 single wide mobile home from me for six or seven years, rent $550. He eventually went on to buy my smallest rental house (I mean it was a 2/1/carport 585 sq ft.). The house he bought was smaller than the mobile home he was renting.

I have another single wide mobile home, 1974. Rented to the same people for six years now (income of about 75k), rent was $650, raised this year to $700. Iím selling it to them with owner financing because they are well qualified but nobody gives mortgages on single wide mobile homes of that age even when they come with land.

Iíve gotten very lucky with high quality tenants in my lower end rentals.

New Red Flags (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 4:30 PM

Oregon, just as others on this forum were hit by a tsunami, now Roy is facing the tsunami. I canít do the phone screen, appointment setting method when I receive 120 replies per day.

Apparently, this hit in IN 10 years ago, in MO 8 years ago, now in AL. It will reach you. I too would prefer the old ways, I had mastery of the technique involved. But advertising is different now, culture is different now.

Get yourself prepared.

New Red Flags (by Homer [TX]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 5:01 PM

Thatís one reason I donít like using the Zillow apps. I want people to actually see my class c house in the hood. They blindly apply and waste my time. We now only hand out applications at the property.

New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 5:05 PM


If I re-listed this house at a higher rate, that would only backfire on me. False advertising, 'bait and switch' slumlord tactic,..oh, I can hear it now. I can live with $650.00 but all I really want is just a good tenant with a decent job.

I have DQ'd 7 apps today mostly for 'incomplete app'. When a prospect leaves half the app blank, they are hiding something! However, I do have 3 apps that I have requested additional information on. All 3 apps look promising on the surface but I have some more digging to do. And the $100K applicant has a commission based sales job and she makes decent money but nothing even close to $100K.

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 5:08 PM

Wow. There are a lot of you folks who are using some old school processes. When I have a vacancy, its nothing for me to sign into my software every few days and see 40 or 50 prospects who never even made it past my digital pre-screening. They just show up in the file as being declined. Itís like they never even existed in my world.

New Red Flags (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 5:34 PM


Do you ever meet your applicants at all? There are some LL's who screen applicants, collect money, docu-sign leases and never once even meet their new tenants. Keys are left in the mailbox. Is this you?

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 5:47 PM

I donít meet applicants until they are 99% approved. Thatís when I do the in-home inspection. And drop off a sample lease for review. If Iím at that point, theyíre almost guaranteed to be signing a lease. If they donít sign the lease, then I need to tweak something and tighten up screening so Iím not wasting my time with riffraff.

I am usually meet one prospect/couple in person per vacancy per lease. So if I have four vacancies per year, I might meet 4 to 6 people getting them filled. I donít even talk to them on the phone.

New Red Flags (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 6:26 PM

NE, it sounds like your system is like Jasons

New Red Flags (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 6:43 PM

Roy,who cares what they say or think?I get called all kinds o names from govt officials to tenants,i would cancel the ad and raise the rent and start again.When they say something just tell them they are jealous. NE,I am impressed with your system

New Red Flags (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 6:46 PM

Ken. I think I mentioned it to you before. You may have told your partner about it.

New Red Flags (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 6:51 PM

I had a flood of applicants for a large 1 bedroom apartment in a "C" area of town, Koreatown, Los Angeles. I was fed up with the lies crazy things put on the application. Here is how I handled some of the applicants.

#1 A pregnant wife and husband looking for a larger apartment. They lived in a small no bedroom unit down the block. Wife came and wanted to take it. I refused until all parties have a viewing. They showed up as a couple, then man has to hurry to work. The wife didn't have with her all of her information. So I volunteered to walk down the street so she could provide me with her social security information, pay stubs and bank account. While in the unit I didn't see 1 male article of cloths. It was obvious. The man knocked her up, he is married to someone else. She needs larger place so he agreed to a sham marriage so his real wife wouldn't find out.

#2 A guy saying he works at the Downtown Library and a head librarian and has over $100,000 in the bank. When I called the library they gave me a song and dance the guy is in charge. So I called a tenant of mine who has been a librarian for 30 years with two master degrees and reports back the applicant is not boss, he's only a short timer, 3 years and is low on the totem poll. Also his bank statement showing $100,000 was an altered copy, he only has around $10,000 in the bank. Had he not lied, he may have gotten the apartment.

I don't believe anyone, but I just have to verify.

New Red Flags (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 7:38 PM

It is very difficult to really to see what market will bear from a ads on the internet sites. As the price of houses has gone up dramatically compared to income what people earn tenants are become more permanent as they never be able to put a down payment on a house where until the price of houses drops then things will change. The trend in that energy costs are going to rise more then inflation where on the Us news the cost of natural gas has doubled compared to last year where many houses and rental units have poor levels of insulation, inefficient heating and hot water heaters, inefficient windows. A low rent then the capital to make upgrades in energy efficiency along with other important projects will not be there. This decade cost of energy is likely to go up significantly. The dems where even proposing a carbon tax to encourage reducing energy consumption. With the price of liter of gasoline here at over $1.60 per liter the cost of filling up a large pick up is going to $120 to $160 dollars. Suppose $rent is $750 where house has some energy reductions then that is worthwhile.

New Red Flags (by MAP [NY]) Posted on: Feb 17, 2022 7:50 PM

I'm surprised no one mentioned that the moratoriums are 99% over in most places and those who have ridden the COVID rent moratorium wave are now out of luck. Best to jettison before the actual eviction goes through. Aka sneak out in the dead of night. Aaaannnnd they are all looking for a new victim, errr I mean landlord.

New Red Flags (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Feb 18, 2022 6:17 AM

Applicants are concerned about maintenance issues, say currentlandlord who hasn't raised rent in 4 years asks them to take care of a few more issues that come up where they rent, it is an inconvenience. I ask them to clarify so that I understand. They had fleas and were told to take care of it. Fleas usually come from animals, don't they?

My lease and ads say no pets. They express their desire to have a dog. I reiterate that. The, "how about something that stays in a cage?" I ask, for example? Response: rats. I said we've not done that either.

I offer they can speak to the current tenant moving on kind of landlordswe are. They take me up on that...ask him how often we make announced and unannounced visits to the property. That was the extent and emphasis (per my tenant) of their questions posed in different ways, and all our rules... N E X T

Another I am speculating on due to a couple questions at the end of our tour, and after me saying "this is not a party house"... "is there a limit on how many people you can have over at one time?" "Do you know if the floors squeak so that you can hear someone walking across the floor?" They are applying to rent an upper.. --75.11.xx.xx

New Red Flags (by MAP [NY]) Posted on: Feb 18, 2022 8:58 AM

Anyone who complains about their current landlord at their application interview is an automatic DQ.

I don't care if their current landlord is Snidely Whiplash.

New Red Flags (by LordZen [MA]) Posted on: Feb 24, 2022 8:50 PM

Very interesting comments, following!

Subject: RE: New Red Flags
Your Name:
Your State:

New Red Flags
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: