What Do You Do When An Applicant Changes Their Mind After You Have Run Credit

What do you do when an applicant applies, you have run credit and they change their mind?

My very strong feeling is that once the application fee is paid, it is nonrefundable. My application states in several places that the application fee is not refundable once it is paid. Be very sure that your application addresses this!

I use a property management system that I use to run credit. Before I run credit, I can refund the application fee but the company is still charged a $5 fee. So even if I was willing to return the fee, it would still cost the company money which I don’t feel is right.

I recently had a situation where someone applied, credit was run and before I could go any further, the applicant called me and said her husband had been transferred to Florida. While I felt bad that they had spent the money on the applications, because there were two, I have a hard time believing that they didn’t have an idea this might be on the horizon.  I had already run their credit and did not refund their fee. If you run credit use a different service and just give the applicant the link, you won’t be able to decide whether or not to refund the application fee.  I can tell you that it will not be refundable.  The application most likely states that as well.

An applicant shouldn’t apply for a property if they feel like it isn’t the right property for them.  Just because they change their mind, it should not cost the property owner. For me, there are going to be very few times that I would consider an application fee to be refundable.

Be sure and join my free Facebook Group.  I share case studies and give away a lot of free information for property owners who have tenants. CLICK HERE

Landlords – Learn How To Mitigate Your Risk When Finding A New Tenant

The thought of finding a new tenant is enough to strike fear into the heart of even an experienced landlord.

We all know that a great tenant will pay the rent and take care of the property. This is the tenant that we ALL want.

But, if we don’t have systems in place to find this great tenant, we can just as easily find a bad tenant who won’t pay the rent and who will endanger our finances.

Watch this quick video series to learn how to mitigate your risk when looking for a new tenant.

If you haven’t done so already, please be sure and join my free Facebook Group – Commonsense Landlording.  I give away free landlord tips and case studies.

CLICK HERE to see “Landlords Mitigate Your Risk When Finding A New Tenant – Part 1”

Also look for Parts Two and Three on my Youtube Channel.

How Do I Find A Great Tenant?

Tenant Pre-Screening

How To Find A Great Tenant

Landlords are always looking for a great tenant. The question is, how do you find one?

I was online earlier and someone ask everyone in a group if they have had mostly good paying tenants or mostly bad paying tenants over the years.  Of course, the answers were all over the board. Some landlords had mostly great paying tenants, others had mostly bad paying tenants and some were in the middle. Many wondered why that is.

I can tell with absolute certainty that those landlords who have mostly good paying tenants have systems that they use every single time to find their tenants. Systems are the key to running an efficient business, no matter what you do. Without systems, your results will just be a flip of a coin . . . sometimes good, sometimes bad but never predictable.

When I look for a new tenant, I have specific systems that I use. I can tell you that I have mostly good paying tenants.

Have Systems

My systems include:

  • Listing system
  • Tenant pre-screening
  • House showing
  • Application process
  • Credit screening
  • Background check
  • Landlord verification
  • House visit

I am very thorough and I only deal in facts.  Over the years, I have learn the hard way to stick to the system and my rental criteria and not make exceptions. Every single time I helped someone out, gave a second chance, listened to a sad story, etc., I ended up making a bad decision.

These people are not bad people but they do lack the necessary skillsets to keep a job, budget their money and pay their bills on time. I am not taking on a fully grown adult to finish raising and teach them how to manage their money. They either have these skills or they don’t. I look for only the very best tenants and these people have a proven ability to pay not just their rent on time but all of their bills. Again, I have learned that once they fall behind on other bills, it is just a matter of time until they can’t pay the rent.

Because I have these systems and rental criteria, I have very few problems.  When I do have an issue, it is because of something that I couldn’t predict. I have a tenant that has been with me coming up on two years and he all of a sudden can’t pay his rent. He told me that he was fired from his job and was too embarrassed to tell me why. This gentleman had been on his job for a little over 5 years and worked for a large, well known company. There is no way to predict this. But, he knew he couldn’t pay and voluntarily moved out.

The easy answer to “How to find a great tenant” is to do your homework.  Have systems and rental criteria in place and follow them every single time.

Grab My Pre-Screening System

My pre-screening system is very effective at quickly identifying those people who don’t meet my guidelines. I have put together all of my questions as well as two free training videos.  You can grab them here


Winter Weather Email Reminders For Tenants

Worried About Your Rental Property In The Winter?

Tenants often don’t think about the “common sense” things that need to be done to make sure the property is winter ready.  I know better than to trust them to anything without reminding them.  I have an email that I send out two or three times a year to all of my tenants reminding them about the important things they need to do to prevent damage to the property. 

Feel free to grab my email that I send out here

Bad Tenants And How They Emotionally Manipulation Landlords

Find A Great Tenant

The number one problem facing most landlords is ‘How to find a great tenant.”

A great tenant pays the rent on time each and every month. You don’t have wonder if or when your tenant will pay.

The reason we all fear renting to a bad tenant is because they are money sucking, time sucking people who drive you to the edge of your sanity!  These bad tenants make many landlords hate that they own rental property!

The key to being able to find a great tenant is that before you start looking for a new tenant, remind yourself to be in the right mindset.

GOAL:  Do not allow anyone to emotionally manipulate you into making a bad decision.


Bad Tenants Excel At Emotional Manipulation

Bad tenants have an entire tool box of things that they use to convince landlords to give them a second chance.  One of the easiest ways to convince a landlord to “take a chance on them” is to make you feel sorry for them. It is actually very easy to do because landlords are people and we have feelings!

These bad tenants use our emotions to emotionally manipulate us and convince us that this time it will be different.  This bad tenant just needs to convince a landlord to throw out all of their rental criteria and emotion is the best way tot do that. Once we feel sorry for these people, it is every easy to convince a landlord to do something that they should never do . . . throw our guidelines out the window!

I learned the hard way that systems and rental criteria help keep landlords on track.  Following your systems helps you as a landlord sidestep these bad tenants.  When you follow your systems, you don’t allow yourself to “take a chance” on these bad actors.


Bad Tenants Lack Certain Skill Sets

Remember, it isn’t your job to save anyone or give anyone a second chance. Your job is to take care of your property and your family.  These bad tenants usually lack certain skill sets. They have never learned to keep a job, budget their money and to pay their bills on time.  It is not your job to take these people on and teach them how to be great tenants.  Most of them also lack the will power to actually live on a budget and behave appropriately.



  • I am only looking for a GREAT tenant.
  • I have made the decision to stop renting to bad tenants.
  • I will release my feelings of fear, stress, anxiety, dread, (fill in the blank – other feelings) during the process of finding a new tenant.
  • I will always remember to put my business and my financial well-being first.
  • This is a business.
  • I will make every effort to not get on the phone with prospects until they have filled out the pre-screening form.
  • It is not my responsibility to give people a second chance if it threatens my business and financial well-being.
  • Prospects and applicants who do not meet my guidelines are not bad people.
  • These “bad tenants” simply lack the skill sets to be good tenants.
  • I do not have to justify my guidelines to anyone.
  • I will not feel bad or guilty for putting my business and financial well-being first.
  • I will remember the phrase “Company policy requires . . . “ and use it as needed.
  • I will not fall in love with or pre-rent to any prospect or applicant until I have properly screened them.
  • I will never try to force someone to fit my guidelines.


Landlord Mindset Video Training

I run across landlords every single day who have fallen victim to bad tenants.  It is so easy to fall for their stories and agree to take a chance on them!  We all know how that ends up!

I put together this video to help every landlord out there be able to easily identify when they are being emotionally manipulated and then learn how to side step these people!

CLICK HERE to watch this FREE video on how to sidestep these bad tenants!