calling tenant applicants

It’s not uncommon for two or more adult applicants to want to rent a property together, but many landlords fail to screen each applicant and just stick with one main applicant. In this episode of Night School, we’ll take a deeper look at why landlords need to apply the same standards for all applicants.


  1. I learned this lesson the hard way. I let the couple fill out only one application. The lady only provided information mostly on herself, although her boyfriend was the one who had the income. She failed to provide the fact that he had numerous arrests and no drivers license and had skipped out on weekend jail time and failed to pay his court fines. I was new at this and failed to do a complete background check. I checked with her previous landlord and she gave her a great reference; said they always paid on time and took really good care of the home. They did take care of the home and the yard but often were late on the rent and now he has been arrested for skipping out on serving his time and paying his court fees, so he has lost his job, in jail now and she has to move out because she does not have the income to stay in the home. I have now learned to screen my tenants better and have each adult fill out an application complete.

    • Anita, your story reminds me of the importance of looking at all criminal records. Every so often I’ll get a landlord who asks why we bother to supply records that involve traffic incidents or records other than drug related and violent crimes.
      Of course most of us have had a speeding or parking ticket at some point in our lives, but we’ve done the right thing and showed up to court and paid our fine. This is what responsible people do. But when you’re dealing with someone who can’t prioritize their responsibilities, you’ll see a long history of unpaid tickets, missed court dates and multiple charges over time for the same offense. How can you trust they’ll pay the rent on-time when they aren’t responsible enough to keep their car insurance up to date?
      Great lesson learned Anita, thanks for sharing!

  2. I had an experience where the co-ap had an eviction that she didn’t admit to on the application. I felt bad for the main applicant for denying their application but the co-ap lied on the application.

    • Good call Clint, lying is an automatic denial. I’d rather someone be upfront about their past than be surprised and think of them as being dishonest.

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