My friend, a doctor, had an investment duplex for rent, or sale in November of 2009. HOWEVER, not many people are looking for a house in the month of November, for rent or purchase. It was nearly December when a potential lessee showed up. He was a gentleman in a 3 piece suit, and immediately told the doctor that he would rent one half of the duplex. He also told my friend that he was new in town and had not yet opened a bank account but my friend was so happy to have found a tenant, that he immediately accepted a $1000 cash deposit for the first month's rent without a second's thought...
My friend wanted to be sure that the prospective tenant would stay for at least a year, so he had a standard one year lease drawn up, that he asked the renter to sign. With no hesitation, the renter signed a one year lease and the doctor still had the other half of the duplex to rent or sell!
He was happy. He could wait until spring, if necessary, because at least he would be receiving $1000 a month, to partially defray his investment, (although the architect had specified improvements without watching costs as carefully as the doctor had expected), and the final costs were several thousand dollars higher than the original budget.
A few days before December 1st, my friend phoned the tenant several times, but there was no answer. Finally, he went over to the house, but the door was locked. He had a key, so he entered.
To his complete surprise, and horror, the beautifully finished rooms looked like a cyclone had passed through them. Clothing and motley furniture were scattered all over the place. He was heartsick. What could he do? How could he get rid of this person?
It was only then that he realized that he had made a terrible mistake. The lesson was that without a verifiable background check from a previous landlord, on a potential lessee, he could never be certain that the tenant would pay the rent.
That was the hard learned lesson that he had to bear. It would take years before he could get his investment to break even!!!!
Learn from my doctor friend. Always verify the credentials of a potential lessee before signing an agreement.