Recent surveys have shed light on the extent of dishonesty among renters.
According to AgentAdvice.com, 18% of renters across the US have lied to their landlords about having a pet. In Florida, 19% of households are hiding unauthorized pets. In Texas, there are 555,125 undisclosed pets.
And it’s not just pets. A study conducted by Australian price comparison website, Compare the Market, found that 9.4% of American renters have concealed property damage from their landlord or property manager, while 10% have lied on rental applications. The worst offenders were those between the ages of 25 and 34, with more than 1 out of every 5 admitting to providing false information in the past.
This behavior is also reflected in the findings of Snappt, a fraud detection software provider. In 2022, Snappt detected fraud in 1 in every 8 multifamily rental applications. A massive 85% of property managers reported being affected by this, up from 66% pre-pandemic.
To combat this issue, property managers may need to implement stricter screening procedures and extra preventative measures. Credit checks, verifying paystubs, and reference letters can help identify dishonest applicants before they move in – but bear in mind that references can be falsified too. Schedule random maintenance checks (with advance notice as required in your jurisdiction) to look for signs of an unauthorized animal on the premises in addition to routine property inspections.
There will always be individuals who try to cheat the system. It will be key to stay vigilant and aware of common tenant deceptions. Using effective management strategies will help reduce the risk of lying tenants and safeguard landlords’ properties.
More tenant behavior headlines
More retirees choose rent – a lifestyle decision – Florida Realtors
Bay Area landlord goes on hunger strike over eviction ban – The San Francisco Standard