Lying on your rental application or while being a tenant may feel like it’s saving you money and potential rejection, but those lies can cost you! The “costs” may not always be monetary, but can cause a bigger burden to your future rental attempts than you’d expect.
The most common lies revolve around hiding a pet, subletting your space without letting your landlord know what’s going on, faking your job (or references), and whether you smoke or not. Getting caught in a lie obviously has consequences, but how far can these lies bring you down? The list below is classified by ascending severity:
Don’t expect to receive a friendly rental reference if you have lied to your landlord. On the flip side, you shouldn’t lie about who your landlord is when applying to rent other properties because they will catch on and see through what you’re doing.
If you have broken your rental agreement, it is very likely that fees will follow. This may include a pet deposit fee, a fine for hiding this from your landlord in the first place, or a fee to cover any damages that may have incurred.
Any unpaid fees that result from lying to your landlord and breaking your agreement have the ability to affect your credit score. For example, if you defy your landlord’s trust to the point of eviction, future unpaid rent can damage your credit score by around 50 points!
When you break the rules and lie to your landlord, it is within their rights to evict you. This is especially true when you have let a new roommate move in without letting your landlord know, not paying your bills on time (if at all), or having a pet that you aren’t allowed to have. In the pet case, if you are found out, the landlord could make you to get rid of your furry friend in order to maintain residency.
In the case of withheld money or property disputes, a small claims lawsuit may ensue. A lawsuit could also become an issue if your hidden pet inflicts damage on someone, or your secret roommate causes damage to your rental property.
Though it may add more charges to your monthly bills, it is much smarter in the long-run to find a rental place that accommodates all of your needs without having to lie. What may seem like a small white lie now, could impact your credit and future in many different ways.