Posted in Blog  
  on May 28, 2015

What you can Learn about a Prospective Tenant from his Car

Whether you want to admit it or not, we all judge people on a daily basis. Not all of these judgments are correct, but you can often trust your instincts when it comes to these things. For all of you landlords out there, prejudging tenants during the screening process is a must; especially since that tenant will be calling your property home for a good amount of time.


Meeting the Prospective Tenant
The first time that you meet prospective new tenants, one thing that will reveal the type of people they are is their cars. Obviously, you can draw a few good conclusions about their economic backgrounds by checking out the make, model, and year of the car, but the information that you really seek lies in the condition that the car is in. Think about it, just because a person is poor doesn't mean that they will be a bad tenant, and just because a person is rich doesn't mean that they will be a good tenant. On that note, here are some things to look out for when checking out prospective tenants' cars.


Exterior
The paint of a car can say a lot about the type of person who drives the car. For instance, if a prospective tenant's car has a nice, clean exterior, you can infer that he or she cares about what people think and want to look good. That said, the prospect will most likely keep the exterior of your property looking nice and clean so that neighbors and guests can see what a nice place that they live in. On the other hand, if a prospective tenant's car is covered in dents and scratches, he or she may just have had some bad luck on the road, but a lot of times this is a good sign that they are clumsy, careless, or just plain sloppy.


Interior
Certainly the most informative part of a prospective tenant's car is the interior. Other than the tenant's current residency, this is the place where they spend a majority of their time, and can tell you a lot about his or her lifestyle. If the interior of a prospective tenant's car is completely trashed and full of random items, that is an obvious red flag. A person who has a car like that doesn't mind living in a mess, and your property will most likely end up in the same condition. Other things to keep an eye out for in a prospective tenant's car are burn marks on the seats and doors. These small brown or black marks will let you know that your prospective tenant is a smoker and, even if you have a no smoking policy, they will probably smoke inside when it is cold out. One more thing to look out for are additional family members in the car. If your prospective tenant did not mention any of these people in the application, chances are that they are willing to leave out other key details when it comes to the upkeep of your house or unit.


Happy Screening
Now that you know what to look for, you are well on your way to improving the quality of your tenants, and raising the value of your property for the future. Remember that you can't always judge a book by its cover and not every one of these stereotypes will be spot-on, but landlords and property managers need to make important decisions based on little information and will most likely agree that the upkeep of a prospective tenant's car can say a lot about him or her.


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