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Can I deny a potential renter for my condo based on a bad feeling that I am getting from them?

Carlsbad, CA |

I am in the process of interviewing potential renters for my home. One applicant is getting very pushy with me and demanding that I rent to them. I am getting a very bad feeling and really don't want to rent to them. Can I take as much time as I want to interview other applicants? If they submit the rental application and their credit is good, do I have to rent to them or can I continue to interview other applicants? Can I deny them if they say they want to make modifications to my condo and I have told them it is not allowed and I feel that they would do it anyway?

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Attorney answers 4


So long as the reason you decide to not rent to them is not based on a discriminatory purpose, (race, gender, religion, etc.), you are not obligated to rent to anyone you don't want to, and you do not have to give them a reason.

Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice


Agreed. Make sure your file is documented, as your reasons may be called into question later on. Your conversations should be noted by date, and should contain quotation of memorable statements by the applicant. Sounds phony, but you will not likely recall what you and s/he said months from now, and contemporaneous business records can be offered into evidence, if necessary. The key is that they are put in writing reasonably contemporaneously with the conversation. Consider getting a hard kind notebook so as to counter claims that the notes were made after-the-fact. Even more helpful are email strings.

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Yes. Trust your instinct. If you feel they are pushy now, it will only get worse later. You are free to refuse to enter into any contract with anyone.

Kevin A. Spainhour, Esq. Spainhour Law Group


Just to clarify the prior points about putting things in writing, that means, for your own records. You should not, under any situation, tell any prospective tenant why you are not going to rent to them. "Thank you, but your offer has been rejected." Is all that you should ever say. If they press, just say "I'm sorry, but I don't provide information on why I do not accept specific prospective tenants."

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