Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 2 months ago

Do we have to give a good word for the previous tenant?

I have a tenant that moving out after two years of living in our rental house. He is a pain in the neck with his demands.  Every month he asked something else to be fixed, some of them were we thought unreasonable.  We complied with his demands because he paid the rent on time.  When the lease was up, we did not renew it and he is moving out now.  I have got a phone call from a potential landlord asking reference for him.  Do I have to reply and answer his new potential landlord's questions such as his behaviors etc.  I dont mind saying he paid the rent on time, but I have nothing else positive to say about him.  If I tell new landlord those he will not get a new house to rent because of the negative aspect of my thoughts.  What are my limitations on this? 

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Tell the inquirer that you are happy to verify timely rent payments and dates of residence but that you do not give subjective references either positive or negative.

  • 1 month ago

    Say what you can back up with evidence.  Its not defamation of character if you have proof.

    That said, as a landlord you have a responsibility to your tenant.  If the electricity fails, you need to get it sorted ASAP.  If they expect you to fix their posessions, yes that's asking a lot and I would have told them to sort it themselves, but if the pipes have burst and there's water everwhere you need to step in.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Lol who cares!if it’s a paying tenant that’s all he needs to know.

  • 2 months ago

    There are no limitations on your opinion.  You have a right to tell it how you see it.  He was unreasonably demanding and expected you to make him comfortable to his standards, but he paid the rent on time.  Tell it like it is.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 2 months ago

    Here's what I recommend as someone who gives references all the time:

    1. Make sure there's a signed authorization from your tenant, allowing you to give a reference. This limits your liability in the first place.

    2. Ask the new LL/PM to provide you with a standardized list of questions that are in line with federal fair housing laws. This means matter of fact questions, not opinion based questions, that don't relate to the tenant's age, gender, race, family status, etc. 

    3. Give plain, matter of fact answers only to the questions you're asked. That's all you need to do.

  • 2 months ago

    No you are not required to give a reference in most states.  Limitations are to be honest.  Sharing negative info is legal as long as it is true, however as stated you do not have to.

  • R P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    My answer is for the USA -

    You are not legally obligated to give any sort of reference for your soon-to-be-former tenant.

    A word of caution - it is probably best to not give a reference unless you receive a signed authorization from your tenant to release information about him.

    Source(s): FL landlord
  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    There is no 'come back' on you as long as you tell the truth...... if you choose to give a reference about rent payment only then say that is all you are prepared to give reference of...... however if a tenant has to request 'repairs/fixes' every month then it could  say a lot about the state of your rental property

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Say he paid on time and say thats all you want to say. 30+ years ago I was a manager and my company did not want me saying anything negative about any former employee. Fear of getting sued.

    I did what they said but made noises to get my point across.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The limitations are if you say something that can not really be proven, if he doesn't get the rental he may decide to come back after you.  It seems as if most of your issues are with his maintenance requests.   That's a big tricky, as what you may think is excessive may actually be something you are responsible for.  So by telling the new landlord this, you could end up in a defamation situation.  That is you could be held liable for him not getting the apartment and end up having to make restitution to him.  

    So you can either not respond at all..nothing wrong with that.  Or you can respond let them know that he paid his rent on-time.  If he left the place clean and no damage you could add that.  

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.