The Lies They May Tell

by Andrea West


Posted on 2016-10-31 14:30:08


When the Bill of Rights was written the Founding Fathers made sure to include the Third Amendment which stated that the government could not force civilians to house and feed militia. This law was written because Britain had forced colonists to quarter soldiers and they didn’t think that should be allowed. Since then, more laws have been created and here are some of them-

  • In Kentucky it’s against the law to dye a live baby chick, duckling, or rabbit

  • In Massachusetts you can’t own an exploding golf ball

  • In North Carolina you can be arrested for stealing used kitchen grease

  • And in Rhode Island you can’t intentionally bite someone’s arm off

Yes, these laws seem ridiculous, but they only exist because someone actually committed these acts. I do believe that most people are trying to be good, but there’s always a fringe case that ruins the situation for everyone else.


The same thing happens when you manage rental properties. Landlords would like to trust that their residents are abiding by what is outlined in their rental lease agreement, but over time they run into enough problem situations that they have to be more strict and suspicious than they would like to be. Though the majority of applicants and residents will be honest, there is a significant enough portion that do lie that requires all landlords to move forward with caution.


When sorting through applications, be aware of these common points that prospective tenants are most likely to be dishonest about-

  • The pay stub - They may try to type up their own or use a website that will create a fake one for them.

  • Employment - May tell you a higher salary than they make, lie about where they work, and give you false employer contact info.

  • Reason for moving - They may tell you the landlord didn’t maintain the property, which could be true, but it also may be because they trashed the apartment themselves.

  • Pre-done screening - If they have a screening already printed out for you, it may have been altered to include a better credit score than they really have.

  • Current address and landlord info - They might have put in a random address and given you the phone number of a friend instead of their landlord.

  • History of eviction - I think it’s safe to say that no one who is trying to find a place to live will admit outright that they’ve been evicted.


Once the applicant becomes your tenant, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. Tenants may lie about-

  • Owning a pet - If you point out the proof they might try to tell you that they’re watching the pet for a friend.

  • New roommates - They may simply not realize they have to get their new roommate to sign a lease or tell you that their girlfriend who is always around doesn’t live with them.

  • Why they couldn’t pay the rent - So many excuses and so often those excuses just don’t cut it.

  • State of the apartment - Sometimes renters will say that the apartment is in better shape than when they moved in and that when they moved in the place was a dump.


Law is about the discovery of the rules of just conduct and are created to preserve liberties and rights. The process of screening applicants and the points on a standard rent agreement are no different. Protect yourself and protect your property by knowing where to look for potential red flags.