As an investor, you’re eager to win the investing game. You have a running mobile home park, but now it’s time to fill a vacancy. What are the signs that a potential renter will be nothing but headaches? Have you asked yourself this question?
There are telltale signs that a potential renter may not be a good fit for your park. What are the warning signs of a terrible mobile home renter?
7 Signs to look for
To help you on your way to striking gold when it comes to potential renters, here are seven different signs that a potential renter will be nothing but headaches. (No one wants a headache, especially you as you juggle the various responsibilities that come with investing in mobile homes and/or running a mobile home park.)
1 – Zero references
If your renter comes with zero references, you may want to think twice before welcoming him or her into your mobile home park. And no — references from the potential renter’s mom or dad do not count. Parents can easily be biased in favor of their children, and that won’t help you get an accurate perception of a future tenant.
2 – Bad references
Digging deeper into references, if the references are bad then you’ll want to chuck that application into the trash bin. Make sure references aren’t just from the applicant’s current landlord. Sometimes a landlord will provide a glowing reference to get rid of a tenant in a hassle-free manner. (An eviction is a process.)
3 – A lie on the rental application
As you review the application and interview your potential renter, some things may not fly. Notice conflicting information between what is on their application and what they’ve stated? You may have caught them in a lie, and that’s a warning sign!
4 – Bad credit
Now here’s another sign that a potential renter will be nothing but headaches — bad credit. If your potential tenant has bad credit, chances are you’ll have a headache on your hands. Their credit score may showcase a struggle to keep up with payments.
5 – Criminal history
Know how to properly evaluate a potential tenant’s criminal background. If your park’s target tenant is supposed to be a good fit for a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood, it’s important that you consider such an evaluation.
6 – Rude behavior, picky attitude
Let’s say you’re still keen on giving an applicant a “second chance” after noting something like bad credit history. In that case, be sure to be attentive when you meet your potential renter in person. Learn how to read people and put that learning into practice. If applicants are rude or already critical about the house and neighbors during the showing, that’s a sign that it’s time to move on and look at the next application.
7 – History of evictions
Additionally, if you find that your potential renter carries a history of evictions, consider the trouble you may face in the future! One of the most common reasons behind evictions is a failure to keep up with rent payments. Is that a hassle that you’re willing to risk?
Beware of anti-discrimination laws
In discussing the signs that a potential renter will be nothing but headaches, it’s imperative that we discuss (albeit briefly) anti-discrimination laws. Anti-discrimination laws are found at both the federal and state level.
Anti-discrimination laws protect tenants by making it illegal for a landlord to refuse a potential renter on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, or national origin.
In essence, it’s important that tenant screening is conducted in such a way that all potential tenants are screened in the same manner. Every applicant must be screened by the same standard.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sees that the Fair Housing Act is enforced. Tenant complaints concerning the violation of the Fair Housing Act may be filed with HUD.
Know the signs and win at renting
As you pore over the various applications that come your way, remember this: don’t settle — especially if your gut is telling you something’s not right. Remember, the last thing you want is a headache on your hands. Your time is better spent on making a profit than on grappling with a tenant who won’t pay their rent. Spare yourself the pain of a problem tenant by carefully looking for the warning signs.
Over time, the process of tenant screening will become intuitive. The more you rent out mobile home homes, the better you will be at quickly looking for the telltale signs of a good or bad renter. We hope the signs listed above will spare you some big headaches.
For the reader who is new to mobile home investing and park management, learn the basics of how renting a mobile home works. We’ll take you through a beginner’s guide on how the process takes place.