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Urgent!! Rent to someone with Foreclosure/Bankruptcy?

I'm a first-time landlord.  I live in Arizona and I have a young couple that want to rent my house.  They make good money, but they lost a home to foreclosure and mentioned bankruptcy.  I figured they filed bankruptcy because of the foreclosure.  They didn't fill out their driver's license numbers on the rental app and they gave me the credit check money in cash.  They didn't fill in their bank account number, either.  They want me to give them a 2-year lease (in lieu of 1-year)  for $50/month less that I asked and now, they want me to not replace the carpeting, and lower the security deposit.  I haven't started their credit check or finished checking their employment references, etc.  Can I legally tell them I changed my mind about renting to them at this point in time?  They were crafty and manipulated one thing at a time and now I'm uncomfortable with them.

Sounds like a rat in the woodpile, I can say this carpet deal a little down the road can be your nightmare, A carpet that is worn can be a code violation or slip and fall. They could possibly looking for a way out of paying the rent later down the road. There are good people also that have had bad luck also , As long as no lease or agreement has been signed you can change your mind, but never give the key to anyone , once they have the key that is possession and you usually need a court order  from a judge to get it back months down the road. To many question marks?A lease for 2 years ? lowering the security deposit.
Thank you, Donald.  Actually, the carpets are in fine shape, I was just offering new carpet for a fresh start for someone.  It seems you perceive them the same way that I do.  One manipulation after another.  I spoke with someone I know that's a lender and she said pretty much the same thing.  It's just such a sue-happy world, you don't know what to do anymore. Thanks again.
Robin, make sure you have liability insurance, it is a good investment, I have a short story , guy says take money off of rent for snow removal. okay truck breaks down cannot do snow , lease says certain amount, he will not pay more or pay for a new lease, he gets hurt shoveling he working for you , do you have workmans comp. your his employer?Stay away from these so called workers that are your tenants
I would be very leery of anyone that refuses to completely fill out all of the information that you request.  I require that they supply me with copies of their IDs, as well as filling that info out.  The carpet doesn't sound like it needs to be replaced, as long as it is clean and acceptable.  Keep in mind that it's a rental and spending unnecessarily will not help you.  As far as the Foreclosure/BK- that is not necessarily a problem.  It's mainly people with not so great credit that you will encounter in Arizona's rental market.  The people with A paper are buying, not renting.  I definitely would not skimp on the deposit though.  If you get someone with solid income/references and gives you a good feeling, I'd say go for it, but with these 2, go with your gut.
Jason and Ulla, thank you for your insight.  I understand about the foreclosures, however, I have since spoken with a lender friend who told me that all these people with foreclosures don't have to file bankruptcy, they just figure it's an easy way to be relieved of all their bills.  The combination of foreclosure AND bankruptcy is what really bothers me.  It shows no good intentions and no attempt to pay any of their bills.  I'm really leery of that.  The couple I spoke of earlier had a combined gross income of $6k/month and they couldn't live on that?  Unbelievable!!!
Well, everything is relative.  I know some folks that could easily live on that amount of money and others that struggle to pay for their expensive tastes at 10k/mo.   I currently have a tenant who has a very good paying job and is on a 2 year lease.  He HAD a very nice home that he purchased at the height of the market a few years ago and the value dropped to about 33% of what he paid.  He had a tough choice to make-- Continue paying the mortgage or let it go and take the credit hit.  Today, he rents my home for half of what his mortgage payment was and has extra cash.  Each month, he hand delivers a check on rent day.  It was a financially sound choice, but not necessarily a morally sound one.  But, I am here to collect rent and not judge :)  The key is to get someone in there that will be reliable.  I have another home that I just began the eviction process against the tenant today, since Sheriff Joe became his new landlord on Father's Day.
Robin, beware of renting to tenants with foreclosure/bankruptcy.  My current tenant has a bankruptcy in her recent past and if I could go back and do it over, I would not have rented to her.  She was up front and honest about it and said that it was because of her ex-husband, but... she pays her rent late every month.  She doesn't even have a checking account she does everything in cash or money order.  The one good thing about my situation is that the tenant is on a month-to-month rental agreement so I can throw her out anytime with a 30-day notice.  I would definitely recommend the month-to-month route.
Thanks, Heather.  There just don't seem to be very many people with decent credit out there right now.  I had another couple who said they "only" had 3 evictions, but the last one was about 4 years ago, as if that makes it okay!  I'm still searching for a decent tenant.  Wish me luck!
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