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ethan_elite

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Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #1 

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?

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 
Ethan, I put in my aplication and lease that any lies, falsehood, or misrepresentation on the lease or application is reason for rejection and termination of the tenancy.  However, many strippers don't call themselves that for obvious reasons (usually they're dancers).  An offer to pay the entire yr's rent would have been a big red flag for me.  Inability to provide proof of income is another.  Even a person who is self employed can provide proof of income by just submitting a tax return for last yr.  If she can't prove this money is from her employer it can come from several other sources that I can think of (none good) - employer paying her under the table, lap dance fees, "G-string money", prostitution, or drugs.  I wouldn't want to accept this money.  The police or the IRS may want to know how she got it.
 
It may be that you have a bias against strippers, but then again, strippers are not a class of people who are protected from discrimination.  I would suggest you dig a little deeper into her application.  Run the free/cheap local criminal background check online at the police or sherriff site or in person in their offices.  Look for any arrests (disorderly, drugs, prostitution, etc.)  Call former LLs and ask questions about her.  If she paid an application fee, run her credit check.
 
Have you signed anything with her (lease, holding agreement, etc.)?  If not, once you do the above screening, you will probably find something that will disqualify her.  (Bad credit, poor LL reference, criminal history, etc.)  If you find anything or she can't come up with proof of her income, just tell her that you are sorry but she does not meet your screening criteria.  If it is from something on her credit report, you need to give her an adverse credit rejection letter.
 
Personally, I don't condone that lifestyle.  However, looking at it as a business, I would reject any applicant that could not provide proof of income.  If they can't prove 3x the rent in income, sorry.  I would reject any applicant with drug, prostitution, or a pattern of arrests.  That doesn't meet my criteria.  Tell her just that and no more.
hector99

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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #3 

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.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #4 
Sorry, but the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (also know as the Fair Housing Law) says, "It is illegal to discriminate against any person because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familiar Status, or Nation Origin."  It is not illegal to disciminate against any person because of their job.  Or because they have streaked hair, or because they wear a leather jacket, or any other basis.  It is perfectly legal.  If I choose not to rent to any streaked hair person who shows up in a leather jacket, that is my right.  (It probably wouldn't make much sense;  but as long as the reason wasn't because I don't rent to a certain race or color, or that I don't rent to anyone of a certain religion or sex, or that I don't rent to handicapped persons, unmarried persons, people with kids, or those born in foreign lands - it is perfectly legal.)  Strippers are not a protected class.  As long as the reason was not that he doesn't rent to women, a person of her color or race, religion, or national origin, he can choose.  I assume he has rented to and would rent to other women and people of her race/color.  If her screening does not check out to his satisfaction, he can ignore her job and deny without worry over discimination.
 
And as per my comment on where the money came from, quite frankly, that money may be unreported income (even if not from illegal sources).  It doesn't come from her employer and if she didn't report it on her taxes, it is undocumented income (and the IRS will want to know about it).  That's why I stated that she could provide proof of income by just submitting last year's tax return.  I would have any "self-employed" person do this.  This would show her documented income, including her tips.  If her income on her W-2 or her check stub from her employer does not show 3x the rent in wages, and she doesn't document this extra income, you cannot consider it when screening her application.  The same thing is true for a waitress.  If she cannot show 3x the rent in documented wages, she or any other person won't be approved by me.
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #5 
An addendum to the former cited law:
California is the only state that I know of that does have case law on the books about discriminating against certain occupations.  In California, some judges have found that you cannot refuse an application based on any personal bias.  This state is very liberal in its laws and most laws there favor the tenant.  No other state I know of has similar laws.  But you do need to be aware that denying someone in a certain occupation may be construed as denying that person for another reason (such as her race, sex, color, or national origin).  You need to be able to show that you are denying the person for sound business reasons (like an inability to prove having the appropriate amount of income per your criteria).
rkkeller

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Posts: 764
Reply with quote  #6 

How come I cant get any exotic dancers ?  I always seem to get the old religious women with multiple cats.

prin1113ci

Registered:
Posts: 86
Reply with quote  #7 
Tenant lied on his rental application and during his interview stating . The tenant does not have a case your prospective tenant likely lied on the application .


Portland Homes for Sale
hawkinslrs

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #8 
For better tenants go to LRS at http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/
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