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PAST LANDLORDS (by ANNIE [IN]) Jul 9, 2018 8:44 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by J [FL]) Jul 9, 2018 9:02 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by Laura [MD]) Jul 9, 2018 9:07 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by JB [OR]) Jul 9, 2018 9:33 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Jul 9, 2018 10:14 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by AllyM [NJ]) Jul 9, 2018 10:41 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by Mickie [OH]) Jul 9, 2018 10:54 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by S i d [MO]) Jul 9, 2018 11:00 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by Robert,ontarioCanada [ON]) Jul 9, 2018 11:19 AM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by plenty [MO]) Jul 9, 2018 6:04 PM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by bet [MA]) Jul 9, 2018 6:22 PM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by Robin [WI]) Jul 9, 2018 7:18 PM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by Vee [OH]) Jul 9, 2018 7:34 PM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by JB [OR]) Jul 9, 2018 8:18 PM
       PAST LANDLORDS (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jul 9, 2018 10:47 PM

PAST LANDLORDS (by ANNIE [IN]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 8:44 AM

We cannot get former landlords of our applicants to respond to our e-mails or phone calls looking for references on past tenants.

I have tried leaving messages regarding what we are doing/asking about, and have tried NOT telling them what we are doing. It does not matter.....they do not respond.

I wish landlords would call us....we seldom get requests for references, even on some of the best tenants we ever had. I could give prospective landlords earfuls on the bad ones.

How are you doing background checks? Do you just go with credit scores and the credit report and skip trying to contact their former landlords?


PAST LANDLORDS (by J [FL]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 9:02 AM

I want at least one verifiable past landlord reference, meaning I can get in touch with that landlord. Most of the time I'm able to achieve this, especially if they lived in one of the large corporate run apartment buildings.

Though I did have a group a couple of years ago where the apartment office never answered the phone or returned VMs after multiple calls. Finally I told the applicants I couldn't rent to them because I couldn't verify. But this group was marginal anyway so I wasn't sorry to see them go.

PAST LANDLORDS (by Laura [MD]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 9:07 AM

I would view no response as a response. You know that old saying, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything. For a good ex tenant i would take the time to return the call and say nice things.

PAST LANDLORDS (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 9:33 AM

Of all the checks, I think the most important is LL reference. Don't skip it. Do everything you can to get it.

I agree. Especially the larger apartment managers and management companies don't ever seem to want to help us. Just make note of those organizations that won't help you and return the favor when they call you!

PAST LANDLORDS (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 10:14 AM

We always send an rental verification form to the previous LL. If they were only there for a year we also go the the LL prior to their most recent. I guess it is expected here since we get full cooperation in a very timely manner. Some will call to talk after they've completed the written form to tell us things they can't put in writing. --71.75.xx.xx

PAST LANDLORDS (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 10:41 AM

I don't bother going to past landlords. They will either be afraid to tell the truth or just don't want to be bothered, or you didn't actually get the information on a past landlord from the applicant.

I have had calls from landlords about tenants who left my units. One guy was a peeping Tom and the best thing I could say was I would not take him again as a tenant in a very serious voice and hope that the person calling me got the pointl He was also a drunk and hit a biker at the corner with his truck.

Another one was the recent one where the rabbits ate the corners of the tiles. I told the LL caller that she will pay her rent on time which she did until the last time. Then I said, does she still have the rabbits? Rabbits??? Said the caller, this is a not pets building. That was the end of that one.

If you call the present LL and he or she doesn't want them to leave he or she will say they are bad. If he or she wants the gone at the soonest, the answer will be that they are great tenants. Just use the credit check and read between the lines

PAST LANDLORDS (by Mickie [OH]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 10:54 AM

The one that counts the most to me is not the current landlord but the landlord before that one. You'll get the most honest answers because that tenant is no longer their greatest tenant(pays on time & keeps the place nice & doesn't damage it) anymore or in some cases no longer their biggest problem (the opposite of a great tenant). Current landlord may be motivated differently (palming off their nightmare tenant).

PAST LANDLORDS (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 11:00 AM

I have had a similar dilemma occasionally, although it's rare. Maybe 1 in 5 doesn't call back.

Here's how I handle it.

If no LL reference, I treat it the same as a first time renter. I pull criminal background that includes and eviction report. I also demand extra security deposit, and everything else must check out very good. Bad credit + no land lord? Nope, sorry.

Also, and I MUST STRESS this step: do a 2 minute in-home inspection of their CURRENT RESIDENCE. No exceptions. If they say they are renting 123 Anywhere Ave, I will call and ask to drop by 123 Anywhere Ave the same day with a paper for them to sign to complete the application process. I will step inside and look, smell, and hear everything. That step right there is 10 times more effective than a current land lord who will lie to get rid of a bad tenant.

If the resident refuses to let me in....denied on the spot. They're hiding something.

I know a lot of timid land lords refuse to do this thinking it's too invasive or that tenants will be turned off. Yep, that's right. Tenants with stuff to hide will be turned off. They don't want you to smell the cat pee and dog vomit, nor see the roaches running for cover or the Harley Davidson motor cycle parked in the living room.... The good residents don't care and will actually be proud to "show off" their immaculate home.

Do it. If they're out of town, call a local REALTOR and pay them $40 for their time and gas money. Give them my five question checklist:

__ House is (circle one) Clean, somewhat cluttered, messy, pigsty.

__ How many pets observed ___ cats ___ dogs ___ fish tanks ___ other (describe) ___________________ Take one picture of each and email to (fill in address).

__ House had strong odor? Describe.

__ Yard is (circle one) well kept, shaggy, very overgrown, disaster.

__ Visible damages to doors, walls, windows, flooring, siding? Circle one: None, Minor, Major, Disaster.

This is the last step after you've verified everything else and they look great, so you will on occasionally be out a few bucks. It's worth every penny to save you from a bad resident.

PAST LANDLORDS (by Robert,ontarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 11:19 AM

When a credit report is done on each adult applicant then some of the former rentals will come up. If there are moving frequently along with any unpaid utility bills then avoid them all together. Often applicants do not reveal past rental places so it is matter of checking out on credit bureau reports. --76.64.xx.xx

PAST LANDLORDS (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 6:04 PM

I would value talking with current or last landlord. Are you calling apartment complexs or individual landlords? Have you tried asking the applicant to follow up with the landlord and assist in requesting them to return your call? Is your message clear? I have gotten calls where i can not understand their name or purpose of call or urgency and or the don't leave an area code or i can't understand a few call back digits so if its "hard" and I'm busy i just keep going. Delete. Whatever.

PAST LANDLORDS (by bet [MA]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 6:22 PM

Over the years I have rarely called the former landlord. I doubt they would tell me the truth. Today the new landlord called and asked would I rent to them again. The question should have been why are they leaving. I would have told them I wasn't renewing their lease because she is a PITA and I had her served to make sure she leaves. One thing I have told applicants is I am not renting to them until I talk to their landlord, that usually works. Baring that home visits and credit reports are your best weapons

PAST LANDLORDS (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 7:18 PM

When this happens I contact the applicants to tell them I can't approve their application because I can't contact their landlord. They seem to be able to get through (caller ID?) and I often then get a call from the current LL. I haven't found current LLs in my market to be coy about negative experiences. They've been very forthcoming about the 18 late rent payments, the constant attempts to renegotiate the terms of the lease, the "redecorating" that failed, the unauthorized boyfriend....

PAST LANDLORDS (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 7:34 PM

If you are savvy to check the civil court cases you will know what kind of information the applicant is hiding, why bother with the current landlord - just do a drive over to check the place because you forgot to have them initial the lead paper, looking around at this place then you know what yours will look like in 3-6 weeks.

PAST LANDLORDS (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 8:18 PM

I had to laugh after I saw Ally (and Bet's) opinion that it isn't worth the bother to call their LLs. Then spilled the beans and would have said exactly the kinds of things that I would be hoping to hear. C'est la vie!

PAST LANDLORDS (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 10:47 PM


Great question!

We only approve based on PROOF so a no response is no proof of anything.

We want the PAST LLs. We only accept info from the CURRENT LL if it's negative, NEVER accept positive because they will lie to get rid of baddies.

If no response we want a copy of their lease and copies of their bank statements showing they paid rent every month. They can and will fake receipts.

I'm on a caompaign to weed out CRAZY, so I want the human info, not just the written info.

The 2 Minute In Home Visit might give a decision on the spot. Maybe start with a drive-by and talk to the neighbors.


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