Saturday, October 1st, 2016

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“Do Not Rent To” Database Helps Landlords Screen Tenants, Avoid Nightmares

I’ve got a great little spotlight audio interview and a short You Tube video I found that’s hilarious (if you’re a landlord) below. But first, consider this…

They say you never forget “your first time”.

It must be true. I know I won’t forget mine anytime soon.

The first time I was notably stiffed by a tenant, that is.

(What did you think I was talking about anyway 😉 )

His name was Bryant Finnie…

…and as far as I’m concerned, he FLAT OUT STOLE sixteen hundred bucks from me. In fact, here are the actual numbers…

That’s exactly how it looked when I sent it to the collection agency (who never collected a dime by the way).

I’ll spare you the longer version of my sob story, but suffice it to say that he called me asking for “a little more time”, assuring me he’d have no problem coming up with the money.

I have a soft heart, I admit it. And I was still fairly green as a landlord at the time. So I granted him the grace he asked for, and moreover I really, truly BELIEVED he’d make good on his word.

Classic, right?

So I found myself standing in the living room of Moonfall Way a mere 30 days later, with only a few piles of rubbish to greet me.

Bryant had, of course, skipped out at some point, with no word of where he was going or when I’d ever hear from him about paying what he owed. And as you might guess, I never did.

My first, but definitely not my last…

Any landlord with even a little experience knows well that these stories are unfortunately par for the course, especially for newer landlords.

So this certainly wasn’t the last time something like this has happened to me as a landlord. In fact, I’ve had much bigger losses that hurt a lot worse since then.

But you never forget your first and the “special” place it holds in your heart.

Friends don’t let friends rent to deadbeats

How many times have you wished that you could report a bad tenant to warn other landlords?

Frankly I hate knowing that after Bryant Amy Finnie stiffed me in July 2003, they probably took the same mess with them to another rental property, and became the same pain in th neck for someone else that they were to me. In fact, they’ve probably done it a number of times by now.

And for the “mom and pop” landlord (more often the case than not) it only takes one bad tenant to devastate you financially, or even put you out of business entirely.

So here’s one way to go about it. Try getting the word out on You Tube. That’s what this guy did

Now as much as I LOVE watching that video, I think I’ve just discovered a better way to help save the next guy…

Enter DoNotRentTo.com

It’s an online tenant screening service that compiles information about problem tenants so landlords can make better decisions about who they rent to.

Said another way, it’s a national tenant reporting company — you can search their database by name to gauge whether others have experienced problems with a particular tenant applicant.

The missing link in tenant screening?

Any landlord worth his salt already does a standard credit and criminal background check on all tenants (you do…don’t you?)

But credit reports aren’t fail-safe. Sometimes people don’t have a credit history. In my opinion, you don’t really have the whole picture until you speak to their previous landlord.

But what if a prospective tenant lies and provides a relatives number when asked for references?

Yes, it happens. A lot.

That’s where I see a resource like DoNotRentTo.com coming in. A year’s subscription is only $29.99. That’s the investment for the whole year, not per month. (How much do you spend running ONE credit report?)

And apparently you don’t need to subscribe to enter a listing about a tenant – only to search for a name.

As a member, landlords have unlimited tenant postings and unlimited tenant searches. When posting tenant information, landlords are allowed to enter any comments they feel will best describe their experience with a certain renter. Members can also contact other members via e-mail to help verify certain tenant information when needed.

I was able to catch up with the managing partner of DoNotRentTo.com Joseph Collins and have a short chat with him about the service, including…

  • How it came about
  • Specifically how it benefits landlords
  • What does this service provide that you can’t already get on a credit report?
  • What is someone posts incorrect information about a past tenant?
  • What’s next in it’s development (a property management tool, discounted background checks, etc), and
  • How he answers the objections of a few who are concerned about it’s unregulated nature.

If you think this service might be of good use for you, then here’s my short interview with Joe to help cast a little more light on it for you…

[display_podcast]

Need more info about DoNotRentTo.com? Click here…

Please share your thoughts about this in the blog comments below…

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About 

JP Moses is a roughly-hewn man-child who first got into REI after reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad back in Y2K and went full time in 2002. He's tinkered in everything from landlording to short sales to rehabs to Realtoring to REOs to notes to owner financing, blah, blah, blah...Till he finally stuck his flag deep into wholesaling and has since flipped somewhere north of a couple hundred deals.

JP's not a “guru” but also doesn't think it's a bad word. Among his core values are authenticity, creativity, big honkin' value, general fun-ness and being unshaven. He's super proud to be chief blogger guy at REItips.com and host of the free REIology podcast. He also thoroughly enjoys sharing his 53 best real estate investing forms with anyone who wants them. You should totally check that out. :-)

  • Mojack Vierundzwanzig

    do not i repeat do not ever rent to this dead beat Tracy Lynn Mclaughlin 45 of clearlake ca. after a year of pulling teeth to get rent, which was almost never on time{twice} or in full . i was marking the days till the end of her lease. when she came to me and litterly begged for an extension and crying about not wanting to be on the street and getting back to the ways that got her a 2 year sentence in prision. i said i would ill make it easy split the rent into 2 payments , make certain conditions or i wouldnt even consider it and she had to live up to her word. well in 2 weeks she was back to her old ways violated the lease in 3 places had her felon bf move in in violation of lease. i washed my hands at that time place was put into escrow to sell . let the next poor guy deal with her bs. then literally a week to 10 days before close a fire in a steel shop 2 car was started after said bf broke into it and started it . now on top of losing literally half my income and 10k$ in pocket down payment scrabling to figure out what to do that was end of july . filing a ut was pointless as i had a hard enough time living on my new income of 600 a month and no way could afford the $240 filing fee{ they wont give waivers up here if you have anything }so 3 months no rent and one more time i have had to take cuts in my life because this person isnt responsible enough to live up to her responsibility If uyou look at your rental property as a business and income save yourself the headache of dealing with this person.

  • rhn5595

    near rochester,ny do not rent to aimee maas, brian curtain or william snyder

  • Betty York

    Do not rent to: Elizabeth Mauchly, also known as Goldie Redd. She lived in an apartment in Holyoke, MA and failed to pay four months rent. She was late to pay every months rent that she did pay, and needed to be called, emailed, and visited to get payment. She would habitually claim that the rent had been sent, but lost in the mail. She would say she was going to drop in off, but a migraine kept her.

    As a tenant she was also awful. Neighboring apartments called the cops several times to lodge noise complaints for “loud sex.” The cops showed up several times looking for her. She was found shooting pornography in the public hallways outside her apartment. Eventually an eviction notice had to be sent to remove the tenant for non-payment.

    Do not rent to this woman unless you want to spend some time in small claims court, and are curious how low the bar for humanity can go.

  • Pissed

    In Boston, do not rent to Jonathan Starke.

  • faithless

    Massachusetts is the worst state to be a landlord. As a 64 year old single landlady, trying to provide myself a home for personal use and rent to help subsidize income, found a young couple tenants, with two children, who does not pay rent, steals my personal property, steals my delivered packages, keeps a cluttered apartment, and files with the Massachusetts housing courts of apartment violations, simply to prolong their stay in the apartment for 6 more months without rent. And the State of Massachusetts protects them. I live from paycheck to paycheck. I’m paying a lawyer, the mortgage and trying to do repairs. I feel that I am without any hope as my lawyer tells me that I can end up owing the tenants.

  • Al Brown

    Do not rent to George or Sharon Koumarianos in Lucerne Ca. It took over four months to evict and thousands to clean and repair not counting the unpaid rent. Took them to court, but state of California doesn’t enforce them to pay.

  • Madyouth

    Don’t rent to Cassidy Thomas, He won’t pay and he’ll feed you lies of bullshit. UT and CA

  • Spicy Pineapple

    One person you don’t want to rent to in Hawaii, Hawaii (Big Island of Hawaii) is Aulani Arakaki. This is what happened to me when I placed my ad on Craigslist. Then she reported me on CL as discriminating against her and her child. Here is what I posted on Craigslist in retaliation. It has been stated by a lady named Aulani Arakaki that I discriminated against her and her child who wanted to rent this unit from me. Let’s get the facts straight right here and now! She emailed me asking if I would consider renting to a single mother with a 19 month old child. I replied back nicely, “I have rented both my rooms, but if I heard of anything I would let her know.” I felt for her because I too was a single mother of four children and understood her predicament. She emailed back a nasty comment, “That I was discriminating against her and her child and that she was going to turn me in for discrimination and post it on Craigslist so that no one would rent from me again. This was all because I hadn’t had the time to take the post down yet. She followed through with her accusations. She also stated in her “Beware Moutain View Beware” posting that I told her that I don’t like children when that was never even mentioned or discussed. Pretty ridiculous allegation since I am a daycare provider. Bottom line, she was angry because I had already rented the unit and had not taken the post down so this is her way of retaliating. I guess she feels a certain sense of entitlement. So I now post LANDLORDS BEWARE!! Do not rent to this woman. She will cause you nothing but grief. She has no integrity and is not trustworthy. She has been cyber stalking me for the last few days. This is definitely someone you want to stay clear from. Remember the name AULANI ARAKAKI

  • Sarke

    This service is against the law (as are most tenant screening services) – Tenants know your rights as provided by the state and federal government and fight these people tooth and nail – 90% of the information they report is outdated or flat out wrong and thousands of people get denied rentals every day because of it.

  • Quinton Brown

    Al(Wayne) & Amelia Rourk

    Do not rent to them… ABSOLUTELY TORE MY PLACE UP with four kids and the house is filled with roaches and flies

  • Maggie

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Landlords have far better things to do with their time than waste it reporting tenants who in reality are not a problem.

  • Do not rent to Kimetha A. Kendall — she ripped us off for over $9K of rent over 6 months and required us to go to court ?? times and travel ?? miles before she abandoned the house we leased to her, with no forwarding address or return of the keys. She is not someone you want to do any business with, trust us!

  • Must be a con artist trying to keep your evil shananagans and the evil of other conartist thieveing pieses of filth from being reported to other landlords!!!!

    Landlords need to be warned about people like that!!!!

  • Sarke

    Landlords don’t need to be warned about anything except if you don’t pay the rent on time.

  • Yes they do! For example if a prospective tennent had just gotten out of jail after being convicted of child rape or if the prospective tenent has multipul convictions of theft or forgery the landlord should know about these things.

    What if a tennent is a peeper? Checks under doors with mirrors or drills tiny holes through walks or uses two way glass to see or film naked tennents?

    A credit check should reveal if a tennent has ever been evicted for nonpayment of rent or other reasons such as destruction of property. But they cost money and take up time.

    Sarke a backround check should in most cases reveal these things but backround checks and credit checks cost money as dose checking court records so such a site could save landlords time and money.

    Btw its only illegal if the person posting lies…in which case he and not the site owner has violated the law. If there are state and local laws being violated then they are probably not laws in the state/locality the site is based out of. If a federal law is ever passed then the owner could switch to an overseas company.

  • Such sites should not be used in placment of backround/credit checks and checking court records but to supplement them to save time/money.

    If I have 10 applications to process and 5 of those applicants had horrible reviews on said website that is 5 less backround checks and credit checks I have to do.

    Lets say of the 5 with no negitive reviews on that site 3 had bad criminal records then I would only have two applicants to do credit checks on.

    Do you see how much time and money these sites save landlords?

  • Sarke do you want to live next to a peeper? You dont want to end up with a sex tape of you or pics of you pooping online do you? Didnt think of that? Well unless you have lived nextdoor to a peeping tom I wouldnt expect you to.

    If you were to rent from me Sarke I would do my very best to protect you, your neighbors, and your guests from peeping toms, pedophiles, rapists, woman beaters, violent people, and drug addicts…by not renting to them.

  • Peeping toms and conartists deserve to be homeless!!! It is a landlords resposibility to protect their tennents from such scum! In my opinion landlords who dont do backround checks are irresponsible and if something happens because they didnt they should be held lible!!!!

  • JP Moses- I would check the website first, and then if there are no negitive reviews on the prospective tennent I would go ahead with the backround check and credit check.

    You can also check court records to try and see if they have been involved in any lawsuits. (If they have been involved in alot of suits for jerry springer stuff Id avoid them, and Id also avoid them if they seem sue-happy)

    You dont need to rent to someone who is going to break their own leg on purpose as well as lie and claim you never salt the sidewalks or who is going to try to get run over by you on purpose.

  • You can also check court records to try and see if they have been involved in any lawsuits. (If they have been involved in alot of suits for jerry springer stuff Id avoid them, and Id also avoid them if they seem sue-happy)

    You dont need to rent to someone who is going to break their own leg on purpose as well as lie and claim you never salt the sidewalks or who is going to try to get run over by you on purpose.

  • Lets say hypothetically I rent out two rooms without doing a backround check. I rent one room to a mother with two kids and the other to a guy.

    Lets say the guy had multipul rapes on his record including a child rape and because I was stupid and didnt do a backround I didnt know this. Well if he rapes her little girl that would be my fault for not doing a backround check!!!!

  • UPDATE — Kimetha A. Kendall may be living in the Austin area as of July, 2015. Do not rent to her!!

  • Bee

    Florida panhandle – Gerald D. Short is a name to avoid. Skipped out on his last month’s rent, left the place a pigpen, broken toilet, filthy frig, etc. etc. Brought roaches into property, was constantly requesting repairs for items he broke and no matter how much you did for him, he’ll still badmouth you, stiff you and report you to whatever authority he can come up with.
    If you see him, R-U-N

  • DebrinaMaria

    Do NOT rent to Joan Marie Burgos Sanchez in Alabama. She is from Puerto Rico. We have been renting homes for almost 20 years and this has been the worse renter by far.
    Left, owing over a month’s rent plus late fees. But that’s nothing compared to what the house looked like. Had the nerve to call yelling at me because I asked for the rent. She moved out and left our nearly perfect new house in the worse condition. She said Im clean person, I don’t leave place dirty, I clean it, I’m Puerto Rican, we clean it. Not this Puerto Rican. I pulled up and first thing I see is yard fill with insect crawling , stinking garbage, old shoes, toys, covered in ants and maggots, broken out front windows in a nice neighborhood (brick house) with blue tape and cardboard on it. She wasn’t suppose to smoke or have pets inside, (she signed lease and papers to this rule) and she had been keeping strays coming in and out from streets, without washing them (per the surrounding neighbors). The carpets and floors were so damaged, only way to fix them is to take out old and bring in new. $$$$$$, money money and more money it will cost at least $8,000 to $10,000 to fix just from what I saw. (I haven’t had it fully inspected yet) And that’s getting the supplies on sale and deals. She put out cigarettes on the carpets in every room. The house smells so bad, I had to wear a thick painters mask to help me get through the walk. I don’t know how a person can destroy ceramic tiles in a house, but she managed to make holes in some of the tiles. The grout is filthy. There is long dark yellow spots surrounding the granite bathroom sink from apparently leaving lit cigarettes on the edges of the new sink and they burned all the way down and left terrible looking spots. We had the new sink and cabinet put in a month before she moved in. The real wood long closet doors (that they don’t even make any more, the good stuff) that are louver (half of the panels are ripped out). None of the closet doors are on the hinges. The toilets have piles of red candle wax a mile high on them. Theres 2 tall piles of some white plaster looking stuff on the master bathroom tiles, that will have to be dug up and tiles replaced. Stains and dirt on every wall, so bad you can’t even clean it with a rag and cleaner. We painted it before she moved in also. The entire house. The ceilings were white and I was so proud of how nice the house looked before she rented it. Now around every vent on ceilings, theres this dark ugly dirt and lots of it on the ceilings. Ive lived in our house for 13 years and never had anything like that come out of ours. We checked her out and she had decent credit and past professional references, work references with reputable companies. When I saw all the garbage she left all over the (before manicured landscape) I was mortified. Missing bedroom doors, broken bathroom doors off the hinges and hinges broken straight off the doors and walls. I did not check the pipes and plumbing yet. The stove, refrigerator and counter tops so messed up, I almost threw up when I saw the damage. I was with my 2 children and one of them actually ran outside and threw up from the stench. The other one just went back to the car. Theres no way to ever get back what she took. It will take years to get this money back from her if she gets her wages garnished for the next 10 years. Its so much work we will have to do to recover. But we plan to do everything we can do to get it back. No one should get away with this kind of behavior to other peoples property. Police came out and assessed it. I used to be able to do the work myself. But my health has deteriorated over the years and I can’t do any of the repairs and renovating work I used to do. And with this one now having had the almighty scum from hell, it’s going to take allot. So, please don’t be fooled like me. Do not rent to her.
    Joan Marie Burgos Sanchez She will scream that she is clean person, but she is filthy person and will trash your property. Changes jobs and cell phones every 6 to 8 weeks. I kid you not.

  • Our non-paying “renter” Kimetha Kendall has recently put up a GoFundMe page, claiming she’s deep in debt and needs people to give her money to get by. The page contains NUMEROUS lies, misstatements, whining, inaccuracies, etc etc. This woman will stop at nothing to rip off unsuspecting people. STEER CLEAR!

  • Abeec

    Joseph A and Marjorie FICK jR of Chestertown MD are vicious liars who want to vacation in your house then bully you into a full refund. I offered a full refund 1st night when they wanted my maid to come back to push the “clean oven” button for them as he was a cantankerous arse who thought a self catering house was 5 star staffed. They refused to vacate , bitched and moaned but wouldn’t leave. Finally left after 6 nights and paid discounted rate for only 3 just so he’d leave. Wanted full refund and to stiff the maid. Joe is a huge prick who tries to bully and berate women. They feel entitled to a 5 star treatment with a free ride at a self catering home. They just want others to pay their way to a free vacation. Self entitled old people on disability income.

  • Geraldine Turner-Bright

    I never thought I would EVER post a persons name on any media outlet but my conscious would not rest because this woman is truly evil! And will use her child to make you feel guilty into giving her more time which she has no intention of using to pay you! She owes me over $7,500 in back rent! The only thing she ever paid me was the first month’s rent and security and that was that. Her name is Latefa Harmon of Brooklyn NY or South Carolina. And get this, she also happens to be a small business owner running a business out of my apartment while she still doesn’t pay rent LOL!! Ballsy….