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Old 02-20-2007, 01:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tenant lied on application

I received an offer from a prospective tenant to pay an entire year's lease up front. This seemed like a good offer to me, so I had basically decided I would rent to this tenant (before I had checked her background). I was, however, uncomfortable with the fact that she was unable to provide proof of income/employment, but dismissed this as she "claimed" to be a self-employed model.

As I started checking into her background, however, it seems that she falsely represented her occupation on the application. On her application, she stated she is a model...however after digging deeper, I discovered that she is actually an exotic dancer.

I don't feel entirely comfortable renting to her based on this new information. Not only did she fail to disclose her true occupation, but I'm concerned about the type of personal lifestyle she might lead and what might occur in the confines my property.

Based on the above, what would you advise? Should the fact that she wants to pay the whole year in advance be enough to counter my concerns that she lied about her occupation? Assuming her credit report is okay, is my discomfort with the entire situation grounds to deny her application? ...Or am I being discriminatory?
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel_798 View Post
I received an offer from a prospective tenant to pay an entire year's lease up front. This seemed like a good offer to me, so I had basically decided I would rent to this tenant (before I had checked her background). I was, however, uncomfortable with the fact that she was unable to provide proof of income/employment, but dismissed this as she "claimed" to be a self-employed model.

As I started checking into her background, however, it seems that she falsely represented her occupation on the application. On her application, she stated she is a model...however after digging deeper, I discovered that she is actually an exotic dancer.

I don't feel entirely comfortable renting to her based on this new information. Not only did she fail to disclose her true occupation, but I'm concerned about the type of personal lifestyle she might lead and what might occur in the confines my property.

Based on the above, what would you advise? Should the fact that she wants to pay the whole year in advance be enough to counter my concerns that she lied about her occupation? Assuming her credit report is okay, is my discomfort with the entire situation grounds to deny her application? ...Or am I being discriminatory?
You may want check this link out from HUD regarding Fair Housing first. While you're within your rights as a landlord to be prudent about the safety of other tenants and your property, I'd also suggest some prudence about denying a potential tenant based on an occupation that you simply don't agree with. (The premise is that of course this occupation is legal where you live.)

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/title8.htm

While you say you're uncomfortable with her occupation, it might be argued you're discriminating on basis of her gender and assuming your state complies with federal housing laws, I believe you could wander on to some fairly thin ice. (Just my opinion here.) At this point, I would suggest you complete her credit application first. If that is satisfactory, then thoroughly check any personal references she has provided. I would also suggest a thorough background check to determine if any prior public records exist, particularly any prior convictions, etc. With her written permission, this type of background check is perfectly legal is most states (again, check your state to make sure it is there as well.

I would also suggest you check your state laws regarding housing discrimination. These may be available on the Internet by typing in the name of your state.gov and searching their website under either 'landlord information' or 'fair housing law.' Finally, you may want to consult with an attorney to find out how to place some specific language regarding the types of potential "activities" you're concerned about into your lease. This should also be discussed with your potential tenant as well before the lease is signed.

Again, these are only suggestions, and not meant to be interpreted as legal advice. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, of course you are being discriminatory.

But it may not be illegal.

Tell us exactly why you do not think this tenant will be a good one.

(By the way, she may think that "model" and "exotic dancer" are synonyms.)
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re:Tenant lied on application

This is ABSOLUTELY discrimination! You're discriminating based on employment and that is TOTALLY ILLEGAL!

What if she was a sewer worker? Would you say no because you'd worry that your house would get too smelly? For such people you could have got a legal Residential Lease Agreement form filled. I’ve got my form for my tenants from ezlandlordforms.com. You can also download the forms.

And-as for her not being honest-most exotic dancers are also models-so she's really not telling a lie.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by joseph_675 View Post
This is ABSOLUTELY discrimination! You're discriminating based on employment and that is TOTALLY ILLEGAL!

What if she was a sewer worker? Would you say no because you'd worry that your house would get too smelly? For such people you could have got a legal Residential Lease Agreement form filled. I’ve got my form for my tenants from ezlandlordforms.com. You can also download the forms.

And-as for her not being honest-most exotic dancers are also models-so she's really not telling a lie.
Give us a cite backing up your opinion.
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by joseph_675 View Post
This is ABSOLUTELY discrimination! You're discriminating based on employment and that is TOTALLY ILLEGAL!

What if she was a sewer worker? Would you say no because you'd worry that your house would get too smelly? For such people you could have got a legal Residential Lease Agreement form filled. I’ve got my form for my tenants from ezlandlordforms.com. You can also download the forms.

And-as for her not being honest-most exotic dancers are also models-so she's really not telling a lie.
Just a question here, but what would you do as a landlord if a tenant who happens to be a sewer worker accidentally introduces either noxious or hazardous waste into your rental unit on his/her shoes or clothing? (Not such a strange case, considering the clean-up after Katrina or other less spectacular chemical spills you often hear about.) Even worse, what if they accidentally bring in sewer roaches into the unit on their clothing? (Just examples.) Would you rent to another one after you as the landlord had to pay for damages to public areas, floors and carpets, for example? How do you deny them housing?
Just guessing here, but I 'm wondering if the original poster is not so concerned with the potential tenant's actual occupation, but possibly with some rumored negative "side effects" often associated with the job. He/she has the right to be concerned about possible drug trafficking or use or constant 'comings and goings' at all hours (again, these are just 'worst case' examples here.) Landlords aren't required to rent to every person who applies for housing, but they do need to be prudent on the reasons for denying the application. If any denial reasons given appear in either federal or state fair housing laws, it could constitute some very expensive discrimination.

Again, this is just my opinion.
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