Have you ever been frustrated at a landlord for not returning your inquiry about a tenant?
Well, I might have been the landlord that you were frustrated at. I do not provide references. Honestly I usually don’t even pick up the phone call because I feel bad. In this “sue” happy world where tenants often have more rights than landlords I have to be very careful to protect my interests. Answering a phone call and potentially causing extra issues for me is just not worth it.
Now in all fairness I believe in treating others how I wish to be treated. So I don’t ask for references either. Would you HONESTLY tell me if your tenant is AWFUL and is looking for a new place to leave yours?
My 5 Reasons I don’t require or provide references:
First – Who Honestly Gives a Reference that would not be glowing?
Who would give you a name of someone who wouldn’t give a glowing reference? If you give a reference it is of someone who will say nothing but positive things. If I want a reference I want the honest truth. These days that is hard to do.
Second – How to determine the authenticity of the caller. How are you sure who you are ACTUALLY speaking with, without researching tax records or REALLY looking into it. How do I know that it is ACTUALLY the landlord?
Third- Prevent the tenant from doing damage over being angry– If I tell you this tenant was AWFUL and then you “tattle” me out to the tenant who then does 20k of damage because they are ticked off. Now who is out for the cost of the damage all because I did someone else a solid? That’s not saying I am sued for defamation of character or something else?
Fourth- Subjective – It is obvious if they painted my whole house cherry red, that I wouldn’t want to give them a good reference. What if they were just annoying, I didn’t like them or they drove me nuts? Is that a good reason to give them a bad reference? People also hit it off wrong. There are plenty of people in this world who doesn’t like me yet others who love me. Should I really spoil someone’s chance at a house bcause they rubbed me the wrong way?
Lastly – Previous Homeowner- What about all those people who owned and they were first time landlords? They dont’ have references. What do I do about them?
Now I am not saying just blindly let them into your house. I am just saying my background/credit check, 3x salary, all my other screening factors have come into play!
Authors Note: After a great discussion on military landlord Facebook page, regarding the importance of payment history in some rental markets. I agree with their point and amend my response to say I happily give payment history.
Do you require references? What are your feelings?1