On December 23rd, our listing agent received a call from a prospective tenant requesting to view one of our managed properties that had painting in progress. The property was scheduled to go on the market in the next few days. The prospective tenant asked to view the property that day, even though it was not yet ready-to-rent. Our agent scheduled an appointment that afternoon.
The prospective tenant loved the house, was willing to accept the home without the painting being completed, and was requesting an immediate move-in date. He explained that he was moving from Maryland to Woodbridge to care for a sick family member. He wanted to occupy the home within 2 days since his family members would be able to assist with the move over the holiday. The applicant stated that he had excellent credit and substantial income. He completed an online application within 30 minutes of viewing the property. He also offered to paint the home himself so that he could move immediately rather than waiting for the scheduled work to be completed.
Most self-managing landlords would be excited about this scenario and the option of having the home rented before the new year. Most property managers immediately start looking for red flags!
Other than Military service members who have just relocated and are staying in temporary quarters or cases of relocation due to domestic abuse, we rarely see a fully qualified applicant that needs/wants to move into a property “tomorrow”. Fully qualified applicants usually plan their moves in advance. Fully qualified applicants usually are not under such pressure to move that they would settle for a property that is not in ready-to-rent condition. Fully qualified applicants don’t usually offer to paint a home. Fully qualified applicants are not usually in SUCH A RUSH.
We have certainly processed many application requests for next day move-ins. They often seem “to good to be true” so we need to apply the same rigorous vetting procedure as we do to any application. We can’t let their urgency RUSH us!
Sure enough, in this case, as soon as our office manager, Chelsea, started processing the application, she could tell that the identification card provided had been falsified. Chelsea quickly identified 9 inconsistencies on the card AND found a copy of the ID with the same name on a tourism website confirming her suspicions that the document had been copied and altered.
We declined the application and let the applicant know that he was being denied due to falsified documents. “Impossible!” he said, and he argued for a few minutes about the authenticity of his card. He said he would stop by our office to show us the original card as he really wanted to rent the property……after he hung up, we never heard from him again!
Thorough processing of applications to protect the landlords’ interest – just one of the many services that property managers provide!!