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How Do You Turn Down a Tenant Applicant the Right Way?

Some landlords find it hard to reject a tenant applicant. You might feel uncomfortable to say "NO," especially if you are new to landlording. You need to understand that rejecting an unqualified applicant can save you the hassle of experiencing tenant problems sometime during a tenant's stay. 

After selecting your top few tenants out of the stack of applications you received, how do you deal with the tenants you choose not to approve?

On this topic, several questions arise:

1. What do you tell tenants who did not qualify for the application?

2. In what order should you call all your applicants to tell them that they did or did not get the place? Why is this important?

3. Why do you need to let a tenant applicant know the reason behind his rejection?

4. What is an adverse action?

Let's talk about the first of these 4 questions. What do you tell tenants who did not qualify for the application?

For the tenants that you decide to reject, you need to let them know the reasons why they did not make the cut. It's only a matter of explaining to rejected applicants the proper way. 

Below are some of the reasons you could give to a rejected tenant applicant:

  • Unable to verify his information
  • Inaccurate information provided
  • Lack of references
  • Incomplete application
  • Lack of insurance (If you required an insurance copy)
  • Credit report issues
  • Undisclosed pets (If you discovered from a previous landlord that the applicant had pets which he failed to indicate in his application)
  • Unstable rental history
  • Unsatisfactory references
  • Insufficient income
  • Unstable income
  • Unverifiable income
  • Another applicant who applied first was accepted (and return fee)

Make sure to explain to your tenant applicant that you always follow your own screening process - just in case the applicant questions your process. Again, document everything. 

It is totally fine to deny renting out your property to an individual for as long as the reason/s is/are not based on discrimination

For the rest of this lesson, existing Landlord Prep students should log-in to the module entitled Between Tenants - Tenant Applications - How to Reject an Applicant.

Not a member yet? Join the Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials so you can access this section and get the complete DIY landlording course. This will help you stay knowledgeable and confident as a landlord.