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Signs a Prospective Tenant is Trying to Scam You

Let’s admit it, not every tenant reaching out to rent your property may be a 100% great fit. Sometimes there are signs a prospective tenant is trying to scam you.

I was reading a great article this morning published on about this exact topic. (Link Here – Signs a Prospective Tenant is Trying to Scam You)

Over the years we’ve focused whole heartedly on refining our application and showing process to avoid or recognize a lot of the pitfalls relayed in this article. We manage property for a couple of owners who have received the “Large up-front Cash Offer” from a prospective tenant, AND that’s the last cash they ever received from that tenant! All aboard the train to eviction court.

It’s hard out there for a landlord but we invite you to pay attention and take note of what you think could be less than favorable activity. Think about some of the things you may do yourself if you were a prospective tenant to showcase your were a great fit for a property.

One of the other big scams we see frequently is a prospective tenant looking to provide their own Eviction/Background/Credit records. This is 99 times out of 100 a red flag. We recognize that we do run a hard pull on a prospects credit but it is crucial for us to run this through our own software. Technology is so advanced today that providing what looked like a legitimate credit report could be as easy as adding a filter to a photo on social media. Now I’m not saying that everyone has malicious intent BUT it happens – Stay on your toes out there!

10 Landlord Commandments

10 Landlord Commandments

1.) Thou shall not rent to Friends or Family


2.) Thou shall not delay standard maintenance


3.) Thou shall NEVER accept cash during a rental showing


4.) Thou shall not over improve rental units


5.) Thou shall only value their property using the NOI approach


6.) Thou shall not be a Slumlord


7.) Thou shall always pay close attention to their P&L


8.) Thou shall call a contractor when one is needed


9.) Thou shall not become friends with their tenants

10.) Thou shall ALWAYS follow their tenant screening process

Featured Property: 120 Park Ave, Cranston, RI

Featured Property: 120 Park Ave, Cranston, RI

Large 3 Bedroom 2 Bath in Cranston Rhode Island

Property Address
120 Park Ave | Cranston, RI 02905
Available: Now

Offered By 
Lyon Property Management 


Large 3 bed/2 bath first floor unit.

Full living room, off street parking, snow removal, dishwasher, hardwood floors.

Close to all amenities.


  • Beds/Baths: 3BD/2.0BA
  • Square Feet: 1,200

Rental Terms

  • Rent: $1,495.00
  • Available: Now
  • Application Fee: $25.00
  • Security Deposit: $1,495.00

Cranston Rhode Island Property Management  Cranston Rhode Island Property Management

Cranston Rhode Island Property ManagementCranston Rhode Island Property Management  Cranston Rhode Island Property Management Cranston Rhode Island Property Management Cranston Rhode Island Property Management

Million Dollar Head Start | Lyon Property Management

The Million Dollar Head Start

Million Dollar Head Start

How did you get your start in Real Estate?

I bet you saved money, studied, saw a ton of houses, made an offer then BOOM you were at the closing table closing on your first multi-family property. Then you scraped by as you made update, completed maintenance and experienced turnover.

What was your biggest hurdle? The education? Finding the right house? Or finding capital?

I talk a few individuals daily who are all around the same spot I am in terms of my investing accomplishments. We are all just getting started out and are hungry. We know we have found the path to financial freedom and now it’s just a matter of time. Do you know what a common theme is that’s holding us back? CAPITAL.

We have all the tools, a strong education and are just lacking the dollars.

Then I read the following article … Trump gets Loan from Father

Can you believe that? A million dollar head start?

I couldn’t even imagine getting a $100,000 head start let alone ONE MILLION DOLLARS. $1,000,000. Seven Figures! Think about that!

Even worse … that was $1,000,000 in the 1980’s. God only knows what that number would look like if we factored in inflation. Believe it or not the number isn’t drastically bigger. Per the governments CPI inflation calculator, a million dollars in 1985 would amount to $2,211,384,76, but who’s counting?

How would your acquisition strategy change?

What size properties would you look to acquire?

I think this is an important topic to talk about because eventually you will have the money to make the investment moves you think about daily. How will you execute against your plan?

When you get your million dollar head start remember, we don’t get paid based on how we think and plan; we get paid based on how we execute.

Award Winning Property Manager Rhode Island

Award winning Property Manager Rhode Island – Lyon Property Management

We are excited to announce that we have won an award from for being a top rhode island property manager!


Award winning Property Manager Rhode Island

Lyon Property Management wants to extend a warm Thank you to our clients for this award. We received this award based on positive feedback from multiple clients that we currently work with. It is just a further testament to the work that we put in for our clients on a daily basis. We are excited to continue to serve and provide our clients with top notch property management services in Rhode Island.

How to Scare Away Bad Tenants | Lyon Property Management

Scare away bad tenants

How to Scare Away bad tenants

In the spirit of Halloween at the end of the month I figured this could be a fun blog topic. Some of you may even be laughing at the very title of this post.

Yes it is possible to scare away bad tenants in order to fill your apartments with only the best tenants in your market area. It all comes down to presentation.

First off, think about how you present yourself. I know that we should never read a book by its cover but many people do not follow this sage advice. Just like many landlords may judge a tenant at first sight, so too may a tenant judge you at first sight.

Present yourself as a professional.

Put on a button up shirt, wear a clean pair of jeans and maybe throw on a pair of loafers. Dressing up a bit and showing you take care of yourself will subconsciously relay to the tenant that you also take care of your unit. A bad tenant will recognize that you took extra care putting yourself together and will probably recognize that won’t be able to pull any fast ones on you. I know one property manager that wears a suit to every showing. He says that he always shows up 10 minutes early to each appointment to stand on the front step, in a suit, to not only scare away bad tenants but to also let the neighborhood know the sheriff is in town.

Articulate your craft

This all comes down to knowing your shit. Know your screening process, know the features of the unit and know your neighborhood. Good tenants will ask a decent amount of questions they find comfort in receiving a meaningful, knowledgeable response. A bad tenant will find comfort when you fumble over your response. Fumbling over your response could mean that you have no idea what you’re doing and open you up to liability.

Have a detailed screening process

Nothing can scare away bad tenants quicker then telling them you are going to run a Background, Credit and Eviction check. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen the fear of god come into someone’s eyes when I drop this line on them. A good tenant will simply shrug this off but a potentially bad tenant will almost immediately end the appointment, never to be heard from again.

I’m confident that if you can accomplish the three themes I detailed above you will be able to scare away bad tenants you come across. Attracting the right tenants is one of the keys to success in running a profitable multi-unit property.

The Key to Screening Tenants | Lyon Property Management

The Key to Screening Tenants

The Key to Screening tenants begins with your process.  Any reputable property manager or landlord has a time tested process that they use every time they fill a unit. Most importantly your process must be consistent and repeatable.

The Key to Screening Tenants

The Key to Screening Tenants

Consistency is the most important word in the previous paragraph. Not maintaining a consistent process opens you up to a lot of potential pitfalls. Whether it be accepting a tenant who isn’t really qualified or receiving a fair housing violation you want to absolutely make sure the process is consistent. Consistency starts with making a checklist. Your checklist should contains items like:

1.) Take an Application

2.) Call Previous Landlords

3.) Run a Background Check and Credit Check

Your checklist is the key to screening tenants. This checklist should serve as a rule book of sorts. If a tenant fails to complete any part of your checklist move on to the next potential renter. This takes the emotion out of renting and transforms your real estate investment in to a business. Approaching your real estate investment as a business is very important to your success.



How to Minimize Vacancy

How to Minimize Vacancy | Lyon Property Management

How to Minimize Vacancy | Lyon Property ManagementMinimize VacancyHow

How to minimize vacancy? Minimizing vacancy starts with finding the right tenants. Most of the time if you complete the proper due diligence when filling a unit in your property you will rent for longer terms and to tenants who will take care of your unit. Below are some strategies for finding and retaining the right tenants in order to minimize vacancy in your rental property.

Offer your tenant an incentive for re-signing

This incentive can come in multiple forms. You could simply offer a discount for renewing a full year lease or you could offer to make an update to their apartment. This update can be something that they have asked for or something that you think will make your apartment more marketable in the long run. As you can tell your options vary BUT this is a great tactic to keeping your tenants. We typically like to offer a new appliance or offer to install a dishwasher if the unit doesn’t already have one. Adding a dishwasher to our units has increased the monthly rent and gotten our units rented faster!

Marketing your Property correctly

Marketing your property correctly all starts with using the appropriate resources to tell prospective tenants that you have a property for rent. From taking great pictures to advertising on the correct sites every effort counts. The best site that we have come across to market our properties across the greatest number of channels is This site has proved to be a tremendous resource in order to market our customers properties appropriately.

Hiring the right Property Manager

Most investors don’t enjoy the process of finding and managing tenants. That’s where a great property manager comes in. A property manager will not only find you a right tenant but will actively work to keep your tenants happy by responding to maintenance requests in a timely manner. We hear horror stories daily about how landlords don’t proactively respond to maintenance requests. Responding to maintenance requests in a timely manner will keep your units rented for longer which in turn will minimize vacancy.

Have you employed any other strategies in order to minimize vacancy?

Plus One Rules of Multi Family Investing

Multi Family Investing

Rules for Multi Family Investing by Lyon Property Management

Plus One Rules of Multi Family Investing, these rules detailed below are a couple rules we follow on a day to day basis in our property management company. I’m sure there are a couple more +1 rules out there but figured this would be helpful to get most investors off to a solid start…

+ 1 Door Lockset
Ever worried about unwanted tenants returning to your property and bothering your new tenants? There is a simple solution. Simply buy one extra lockset and rotate it around your units as tenants leave. Just simply count the numbers of units you have, add one and bingo bango – you are in business.

+ 1 Electric Meter
Rhode Island and Massachusetts law require you to have a common area meter. This means that the number of electric meters you need for your investment property is the number of units in the building +1. This common area meter is used for your fire alarm system and any common area lighting inside or outside of the property

+ 1 Partner(s)
Whether you know it or not the contractors you invite out to work on your property are additional partners. Their work will help drive additional dollars to your income statement or cause you to lose money if their job is not done correctly.

Want to make sure your contractors are completing their work to code? Check out the link below which gives you direct access to Rhode Island’s building code.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Multi Family Investing.

Are you interested in learning more about Multi Family Investing and how Lyon Property Management can help you with your investments? Give us a call at 877-207-5966 or e-mail

Renting to Tenants with Pets

Renting to Tenants with Pets

Renting to Tenants with Pets by Lyon Property Management

To Rent or Not to Rent to Tenants with pets, that is the question. AND a very good question at that!

We have a lot of property owners who ask us if they should be renting to tenants with pets. Our response, every time is YES! Now before you completely shoot down this idea hear us out. Here are a few of the reasons why we like renting to people with pets.

We have personally had a ton of success renting to tenants with pets. During our time managing investment properties we have seen tenants with pets stay longer (lower vacancy) and even maintain their units better.

People with pets tend to be better tenants because fewer landlords rent to pet owners. You have to think, most landlords do not allow pets BUT most tenants own pets. Why not capitalize on this opportunity. Odds are you will find a great tenant to occupy your unit.

You get an opportunity to ‘meet the pet.’ Did you hear the sarcasm in my voice there? Seriously though, most potential tenants who own pets recognize the importance of you meeting their fury friend prior to signing a lease. Odds are if they don’t allow you to meet their pet they probably weren’t a good fit for your rental anyway. Meeting the potential tenants pet also gives you an opportunity to see where they live now and how they take care of their unit. This is probably my favorite reason about renting to tenants with pets.

You can make more every month in rent! I know it’s only and extra $25 per month BUT very dollar counts when you own an investment property. This $25 typically flows straight through to your bottom line and I’m pretty sure your bank account wouldn’t mind that.

Still not convinced you should be renting to tenants with pets?

Check out this article on Bigger Pockets for more information.

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