Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
applicants (by AnonymousinCA [CA]) Jan 28, 2023 11:23 AM
       applicants (by Moshe [CA]) Jan 28, 2023 1:04 PM
       applicants (by RB [TN]) Jan 28, 2023 1:10 PM
       applicants (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 28, 2023 1:17 PM
       applicants (by MC [PA]) Jan 28, 2023 1:30 PM
       applicants (by AnonymousinCA [CA]) Jan 28, 2023 1:32 PM
       applicants (by MC [PA]) Jan 28, 2023 2:12 PM
       applicants (by jonny [NY]) Jan 28, 2023 3:29 PM
       applicants (by Vee [OH]) Jan 28, 2023 4:15 PM
       applicants (by AnoynousinCA [CA]) Jan 28, 2023 5:17 PM
       applicants (by Bonanza [NC]) Jan 28, 2023 5:59 PM
       applicants (by Bonanza [NC]) Jan 28, 2023 6:05 PM
       applicants (by ned [AL]) Jan 28, 2023 7:11 PM
       applicants (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 28, 2023 7:15 PM
       applicants (by small potatoes [NY]) Jan 28, 2023 10:58 PM
       applicants (by Jim in O C [CA]) Jan 28, 2023 11:29 PM
       applicants (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jan 30, 2023 1:06 AM
       applicants (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Jan 30, 2023 12:07 PM
       applicants (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Jan 31, 2023 9:16 PM

Click here to reply to this discussion.
Click Here to send this discussion to a friend

applicants (by AnonymousinCA [CA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 11:23 AM

What the best way, and is there a timeline to respond to applicants who see rental ads posted online?

Has anyone had issues with applicants flagging the mgr or LL for not responding to their inquiry in a timely manner, or not at all, on certain website for rental ads?

Is there a specific time period to respond to an applicant's email? Can you wait a week to gather a group of applicants then respond to all of them on the same day? What is protocol in setting up appointments, is it 1st come 1st serve?

Weary LL, sick of CA laws and the tenants who take full advantage of these convoluted laws.

applicants (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 1:04 PM

I haven't had the pleasure of any experience with this issue, but I am aware that an applicant who doesn't receive ANY reply might conclude that he has been excluded from consideration without any reason being given. If such exclusion has violated any rights that he may think that he has, then he is free to complain about such a violation.

I am not aware of any timeline for response, but a LL should be reasonable. I would consider 10 days for a telephone, online, or even a US Mail inquiry. If you are concerned, then you might respond that your response has been received and is being processed before replying.

I take a dim view of subterfuges like failing to respond to undesirable applicants in order to get rid of them. In fact, I take a dim view of the frequent dishonesty of landlords who try to exploit the system without adequate reasons. It is useful to point out how the White House Tenant Bill of Rights specifically has called out Landlords that use such subterfuges to get rid of tenants for unjust causes in order to circumvent extant laws, particularly in order to raise rents beyond legal norms. For such reasons, the White House is advocating that tenants have access to attorney advice to be able to cope with landlords on a equal footing.

applicants (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 1:10 PM


how many rentals do you have, 1 or 2 ?

applicants (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 1:17 PM

Here in California there are around 1 attorney for every 250 people! Meaning that if you do not respond to a applicant who provided you with an completed application in a reasonable time frame, you COULD be accused of favoritism, discrimination or making them loose another rental because yours was nicer so they wasted time applying to your first.

So if you Don't have the time to process and respond to an add for a rental, then to protect yourself, you should state in your ad, "Applicants who apply may not be contacted for several days"!

applicants (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 1:30 PM

Use it as a business guideline. Business hours. No one says you have to reply in 24 hours. It all depends on your process. Are you running credit checks, background and waiting on answers or is it just someone asking a question? Usually those who push have something to hide and want you to rush through it so you don't uncover what they are trying to hide. Don't let any potential T rush you into a decision.

applicants (by AnonymousinCA [CA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 1:32 PM

There are no applicants at this time. Only inquiries, without providing any information. Simply put, we typically do not do business on weekends, wondered if there is a time limit to respond to those responding to our ad to see it or get an application.

Thanks Robert, we wondered if we should put in our ad our work days and hours so people understand we too desire our time off and do not work 23/7.

Moshe, sounds very accusatory.

It is sad that everything has become so politicized, that it makes running a business very difficult and expensive. It has a feel that if a tenant has a prospective bad hair it will cost the LL thousands of dollars in attorney fees to protect themselves. The end result LL's in CA are withdrawing their rentals from the rental market because of this.

applicants (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 2:12 PM

I don't think you have to state your work hours. At some point there is just too much to read. Inquiries can also get lost. Email is not always reliable.

applicants (by jonny [NY]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 3:29 PM

I think it really comes down to WHY you aren't responding to them at all. It's your business model to do it the way you want as long as it's legal but honestly, I hear from MANY people (that are looking for a rental) that they never (or rarely) hear back from landlords and are very appreciative when I reach out.

Some, I understand why they don't reach out I guess. Others, I have no idea. I put in my ads what the property "rules" are (as far as any restrictions or whatever like "no pets" or "room for off street parking for ONE vehicle max"... things like that. When they come back in their inquiry and have pets then I only give them the canned response (when I have a minute) that they don't qualify for the property due to (whatever it is that they said they have... 4 cars, dogs, etc).

I also sometimes will only post to a certain site that automatically sends out a pre-screener. That site does post to other sites BUT when it comes back as an inquiry (regardless of what site they saw it on) it funnels back through this particular site and they receive the pre-screener. If they do not respond to the pre-screener then I don't contact them.

As long as you are FAIR and treat ALL of them the same way, you are less likely to be seen as discriminatory. However, that doesn't mean you aren't.

Why would you want to wait until you have 4 or 5 (or however many inquiries) before you even respond to any of them? Inquiries are just that... I would pre-screen and then go from there. You could have a really good potential tenant waiting and they are going to keep looking until someone calls them, they view an apartment and make a decision. That can happen in a day or a week or a month. If you don't call them back for a week then you lose that opportunity. Obviously though, you can make your own hours and if you want to not work on the weekends don't. But I would then call them (or whatever) on Monday or Tuesday for sure.

applicants (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 4:15 PM

Owner/managers get into trouble when there is no stability in business acumen, set your -operating standards- Many places are open a half day Saturday. So get a script that covers your application standards, if you are a newcomer to the business you need to download and understand your local and state tenant rules - then the assistive animal conditions that apply to each of the 3 type, getting lost in the aforementioned will have you in court for 10's of thousands in fines and legal fees. Knowledge is power, try to operate quieter and smarter then your applicants and tenants. When you understand the laws in your area and the state/federal rules you will draft the minimum to qualify - we follow the 2009 HUD rule breath easy smoke free housing, looking for credit scores above 625, no eviction leftovers from old landlords - yes we send a letter to your last 3 landlords to verify - part of the application fee - 65bux per person. The crummy tenants will walk away rather than lose the non-refundable application money.

applicants (by AnoynousinCA [CA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 5:17 PM

It simply comes down to time management, that is why we thought to ask these questions. We have other jobs, and toher rentals.

In CA, since the rules for tenant/LL are biased towards the tenant, and continue to change by the hour, we were not sure if there is a legal requirement to response in a specific time period. Obviously, we are not going to wait, or hold a prospective tenant up, but want to make sure we have responded according to any new guidelines we currently may not be aware of.

We were curious, if there were any LL's who encountered bad experiences with not responding to an inquiry by a prospective tenant on these online rental websites.

applicants (by Bonanza [NC]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 5:59 PM

I am guessing you are talking about zillow.

I cut and paste a canned response into every response I get and I attach the application I want them to fill out and the pet policy. This eliminates most of the dumb questions. What's the rent? What is the pet policy? Can I see the place? Send me an application? etc.

applicants (by Bonanza [NC]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 6:05 PM

As far as responding goes, I respond as soon as I can but usually within 12 hours. I have a full time job.

In my canned response, I usually say I am showing the property on Sunday at 10 AM, let me know if that works for you.

That throws the ball back in their court. If I tell everyone the same thing and everyone is given the same opportunity and everyone has access to the application it can't get much fairer than that. If they want to make a different time arrangement they can call during business hours and set up a different time.

Other LL here do lockbox showings or video tours. Plenty of ways to do it. Whatever you are comfortable with.

applicants (by ned [AL]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 7:11 PM

I take a dim view of landlords who are so risk averse, or scared of the law, or prospect fearful that they let prospective bad tenants bully them into unnecessary responses. Run your business. Don't let prospects or tenants run it.

I do take a dim view of true discrimination (race, sexual orientation, gender, etc). I find that most (not all) landlords are business people. They have no desire to discriminate except against bad tenants.

I know I personally don't care if you are black, white, or green. Don't care if you are gay, straight, or in between.

I don't care how many tats you have.

I do care if you don't have good references, have poor credit, or have past evictions.

Run your business.


applicants (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 7:15 PM

Annony: Providing information in your ad to answer most frequently asked questions a prospect would ask is invaluable and a time saver for them.

Prospects answering your most frequent questions to themby way of a prescreening set of quesions via form is invaluable and a ime saver for you Develop questions to give you insight into he type of tenant they will be: cooperative, on time payments, sufficient income, etc. Search Mr. LL for prescreening questions from others in the past.

Then determine how you will get the form to prospects online, and how you would like them to get it back to you online. Once you get those who bother to fill out the form (cooperative), go over the forms for your desired qualifications. This step alone, if automated, will save you a lot of time and weed out those that do not meet your qualifications. You choose whether you want applications or showings first. Whatever saves you time and gets you the best results, and you may want to test this over time. You sound like when I first started, but back then you didn't have as many looking to rent fast forward to today. My application clearly states that I have up to 21 days to accept or deny, but I will be changing that as no one will likely wait that long for a response. In the meantime that stays on my application and I tell people, "depending on the response I'm getting, it usually takes 3 days up to a week. 21 days is on the application in case I get bombarded with interest, which is happening since COVID. I don't take a deposit if I have several, because returning it is a pain. As mentioned in earlier postings, if someone wants me to hold it for them after you screen and accept them, it is up to you to decide if you want to do that. Maybe choose one of the methods in another post pertaining to "holding deposits" Have them pay you to hold it for them with a nonrefundable deposit, which applies to the security deposit if they end up renting from you. The prescreening form has been a huge time saver for me. A very few filled out our form, some asked questions answered in the ad (so I know they aren't likely to read the lease fully so I'm not bothered that they aren't my tenants.) Hope some of this helps you. --75.11.xx.xx

applicants (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 10:58 PM

some here myself included send prospects a rental inquiry form, which many never fill out, so you weed some out right off the bat. Some will provide answers you DQ, such as smoking or not enough job/ rental history. I usually batch the rejects together and send a form email that lists all of the reasons they are all not qualified. So the prospect might not know why they were not picked but they know that they were not. Many here do not reply at all.

Why is it taking you so long to reply to inquiries, or why are you hesitant? In general you want to communicate w/ people who are interested in your property. If your timeline is too long, you won't have any good candidates. You should at least acknowledge them w/ some kind of timeline/ plan. On the other hand if you looked them up and they all have pitbulls and party excessively, then you might take your time, is that it? Remember they are not applicants until they complete an application. If their application is not complete you can always say so. Don't know about Cali but I can take most qualified vs first qualified in NY as long as it my decision does not discriminate. --67.240.xx.xx

applicants (by Jim in O C [CA]) Posted on: Jan 28, 2023 11:29 PM

When I hand out an application i include a separate sheet with the required necessary information which along with the application must be submitted. At the bottom I advise the applicant that I donít chase after missing documents.

You snooze you loose.

Succeed applicants can read and follow my very simple instructions.

applicants (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jan 30, 2023 1:06 AM


Jonny beat me to it. Why are you waiting?

Wait a week?? Good prospects will be long gone.

Online reviews are everything. Yellp, Facebook, BBB, and other sites allow people to complain about your slow or non-response.

Look up your online reviews. Might be surprised.

Our Facebook page DOES show our average response time.

We spend a lot of money to attract good prospects. We respond as quick as possible. Not at 2 am but first thing in the morning. Saturday? Sure!

Copy/paste basic info to apply at our website.

All by text, never by phone- takes too long.

Good people are out looking at your competition and do not wait.

Bad prospects will pester you and eat up more of your time.

LLing is a 24/7 business because people are ALWAYS shopping for homes.

No you do not have to work 24/7 but your systems can, or at least respond ASAP.

Weekends are our busiest time.

Hire a virtual assistant for $2 per hour to answer calls when you donít want to.

Post great photos and a video walkthru on YouTube so they can SEE and READ about your prop. Have an online app and paper apps at the house so they can easily apply.

Showings: we do not spend A MINUTE on folks until they have submitted and paid our application. We do a quickie screening and give a lockbox code to applicants who appear promising while we deep screen.

Note: in CA you cannot give them access with a key or they can squat.

We get the good residents while other LLs are slow to respond or have to make appointments 3 days away.


applicants (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Jan 30, 2023 12:07 PM

I know that many landlords ignore applicants who are obviously not qualified. It seems to be a favorite way of dealing with emotional support animals. I don't think it is the best way, but I know that it is commonly done.

If the OP's only worry is being reported for not responding, then the best option is to put restricted operating hours into the ad. Then make yourself a canned response that goes out to every one, giving further instructions. Or maybe a response that says "Be patient, there will be a delay in processing your request. We are working as fast as we can" that only goes out tot the obvious losers.

Generally, the real losers are not obvious at the first contact. It seems like you would need at least a tiny bit more information to rule them out.

applicants (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Jan 31, 2023 9:16 PM

If someone is asking me for additional info and they don't provide me with a phone number - they will not hear back from me. That is my policy.

Someone might want to claim fair housing issues - but the truth is an incomplete request doesn't warrant me putting forth much more effort than the person who incompletely filled out an information request.

As long as you are consistent with your approach, you should be alright.

Click Here to send this discussion to a friend
Report discussion to Webmaster

Subject: RE: applicants
Your Name:
Your State:

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: