How To Get Past A Bad Landlord Reference

Checking your previous rental references is one way for landlords to learn about the type of prospective tenant you will be. You’ll be requested to give references from your current landlord when filling out a rental application.

It could cost you the new apartment if you had a terrible connection with a previous landlord and know they would give you a bad reference or say you were a bad tenant, even if you weren’t. In our guide, any new tenant can learn more about what can a landlord say about a tenant and how it can affect their chances of renting.

By the end, you’ll see that even with good references from other areas, if you don’t have a glowing reference from your landlord, then an informed decision from your potential landlord can go the wrong way. (Learn How To Turn Off Fire Alarm In Apartment)

landlord reference

Can You Lie About Landlord References?

If you pay your rent on time and fulfill all of the lease terms, you should have no trouble getting a positive reference.

To be acceptable and show you are good tenants, a landlord reference can simply show your history of paying on time with no late payments.

It isn’t worth lying about your references, so here’s a few more ways to bolster your chances of getting away from a bad reference.

Ask for a Simple Letter

Talk to your landlord about her negative reference. You could clear the air and compromise. If they won’t, ask them to write a reference letter. The letter should include your positive and bad-paying rent history. With writing, they may calm down as you’ll read the letter.

Prove Your Landlord Wrong

If the landlord won’t provide a reference letter and gives an unfair assessment, present supplemental material.

Gather evidence and documents showing your landlord’s unfair appraisal of your tenancy.

If your landlord claims neighbors complained, ask neighbors to write letters testifying for you.

Should the landlord claim you were late on rent, make copies of your rent receipts showing payment dates. Then, prepare copies of these documents for the new landlord. (Read Cheap Ways To Block Neighbors View)

Include Other References

If your landlord gives you bad references, you can submit other references. Get recommendations from another previous landlord, employers, business associates, and neighbors.

One bad reference won’t sway the judgment if you have many positive recommendations.

Tips For Renting Property When Previous Landlords Give Bad Reference.

Knowing what can a landlord say when giving a reference can help you get around it.

Even if you’re a good tenant, you may ask yourself, “What can my previous landlord say about me?”

However, a few more tips can help negate any negatives unless there are any legitimate reasons for their poor reference.


Honesty is the best policy

Before a landlord checks your references, be honest. How did you get into this situation? How did you fix it?

Assure potential landlords that you have a consistent income and can pay rent on time. Use bank statements, your credit record, and other documents to prove it.

Co-sign with a family member or friend

Get a cosigner or guarantor with a good credit record. This will pay your landlord more receptive to renting to you because they’ll earn their rent every month, even if you can’t.

Make sure your guarantor understands the ramifications of their position: inform them how much they will have to pay if you can’t, and set a cutoff number if the guarantor is concerned about how much they will spend.

Pay In Advance

Offering a potential landlord your whole rental payments upfront is the best strategy to get a rental if you have a bad reference. A bad one may be useless if the landlord gets all their rent upfront.

Not always possible. You might offer the landlord a couple of months’ rent upfront. Securing a few months’ rent could be a tremendous incentive for a landlord who wouldn’t have this option with another tenant. Then, after a few months, a landlord may offer you a longer lease. (Learn When To Call Animal Control On A Neighbor)

simple letter

Show Reliable Income

Showing your prospective landlord that you have a stable salary can comfort them you can afford the rent.

Show your possible landlord your payslips at the screening. Make sure your landlord knows you have stable work and income since this will reassure them you can pay the rent each month.

Use Multiple Landlords

If you only defaulted with one landlord, offer other landlords references. A former landlord should provide a good reference letter to show your future landlord that your default was not a regular occurrence.

This shows your future landlord you maintain the rental payment without defaulting and can help the application process.

How To Avoid a Bad Reference From The Landlords Side

A landlord could be wary of new renters if they previously had a poor relationship.

Here you can see more from the landlords’ side about what they can do to protect themselves.

  • A renter might have a friend or family member serve as a current or past landlord to pass tenant screening.
  • A phony rental reference may be given if the applicant has no rental history or can’t recall their past landlords’ contact info.
  • Regardless of why lying on a rental application is a considerable tenant screening red flag. If you discover an applicant misled about a rental reference, you can deny them residence.
  • If your applicant has a private landlord as a rental reference, you must trust their contact information.

Property managers, landlords, and investors have used these tactics to discover fake landlord references and get the full story or explain why one reference stands out against others.

Pretend to search for an apartment

When someone answers the application’s number, ask whether they have any available rental properties. An actual landlord would answer a phone call yes or no. If the other person doesn’t understand or hangs up, try again. Fake?

The false reference could act as a landlord if your phone asks for a landlord reference, but you can throw it off if you call it a renter.

Listen to responses

If the reference agrees with your inquiries or says, “That sounds right,” it could be a red flag. Some property managers may not remember old tenants, yet

Ask for Verifying Information

It’s recommended that property managers and landlords confirm personal information from the rental application with the reference.

Most landlords preserve detailed tenant data, including move-in/out dates, birthdates, and SSNs. Tenants should have one landlord reference for this information.

Cross Reference Phone Numbers

Landlords should research references by name, business, or tax records to check if they match what the applicant gave as their previous landlords.

Most states have online property tax information showing the owner. If you haven’t verified the landlord using the other methods, a brief confirmation that the individual owns the property might ensure you’re talking to a former landlord.

If you’ve confirmed the person owns the property, check the tenant’s credit report for a previous address.

Don’t dismiss the importance of the screening process to find bad tenants. Checking your tenant’s references thoroughly will provide you with unexpected information that will aid in your decision-making process, highlight any red flags, and save you time and money with your property afterward.

Was the rental property cared for, or were there maintenance issues from the tenant?

While some leases does not allow pets, this is a minor disadvantage of an applicant application compared to not getting the rent on time as you do from other tenants.

Related Questions

What do I do if I have no Rental History and need a Reference?

Finding your first apartment might be difficult. You may have youthful credit, poor income, and no rental references. If your future landlord asks for references from your previous landlords, be honest.

When you’ve never rented an apartment, tell your landlord. You may offer a reference from your R.A., who monitored you in a dorm if you just graduated.

Do I Have To Pay For A Credit Check On An Apartment Application?

Landlords and rental firms often examine applicants’ credit. In addition, the rental business or landlord may charge a fee to pay your credit report.

Your landlord may prefer a paid service, which could cost. Be sure you are a suitable candidate before paying this cost. If you can’t fulfill income or have a poor credit history, you may pay for this credit check without good reason.

Will Evictions Show On A Background Check?

Background checks often reveal evictions. For example, if a landlord checks your rental history or credit, they may find out if you’ve been evicted. (Learn How To Keep Your Neighbors Dog Out Of Your Yard)

Evictions could appear on your rental history if you were behind in payments. Do what you can to erase missed payments to improve your credit score and tenant standing.

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