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.
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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 www.slglawyer.com.
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."