This is my 1-star review for Tiana M. HolbrookWilliams (aka Tiana Williams) who submitted an application and emailed her credit report and pay stubs around 08-03-18. She was very desperate/pushy from the start. She immediately expected her paperwork to be reviewed. Maybe 10-15 min after she emailed her 51 page report she texted me “Please let me know if you received email” and when I replied “I need time to review it” she immediately responded “Okay, how long would that take?” That pushiness and expectation that I am supposed to drop everything else for her should have been a red flag.
Her credit report was bad (under 650) and her net pay minus her loan expenses as listed by her on the application was less than two times the rent. The rule is that to qualify one needs to have about twice the rent in net income and she was under that so I declined her application over text message because of her “credit and lack of rental history” because in her texts to me she had stated that she “never had tenancy for 3 years I’m 23 and lived with my family before my last apt that I was at for a year and 3 months”.
That should have been the end of it but she was very persistent (red flag #2) and explained that she has a rental history in her name even though just a minute ago she had said that she “never had tenancy for 3 years”. So I decided to give her another chance and asked to see 12 months of proof of rental payments. The pushiness, the lack of communications skills where she was fast-typing that she had no rental history when in fact she should have typed that she did have rental history should have been all red flags. By the way if you are a landlord and are reading this, here is a good rule to remember – if a prospective tenant does not take no for an answer, if they beg and beg for you to reconsider, they are most likely trouble, stay away from them and their sob stories, your first instinct is usually right!
Talking about sob stories she told me how she moved in and then 6 months later the landlord called “someone” who inspected the apartment and told him that the apartment in Worcester has lead paint (why would a landlord call an inspector to inspect for lead paint six months into a tenancy?) and now he is asking her to move. Really? That raised a big red flag in me. If she didn’t call the Health Board, did the landlord call the Health Board on his own to inspect for lead paint or maybe he called a lead paint inspector on his own but only after 5-6 months after she moved in? So I wanted to talk with her landlord to hear his side of the story. She gave me a number and I spoke with someone but of course when a prospective tenant gives you a number to a “landlord” there is no guarantee that you are speaking with their real landlord. It could be just a friend or a relative posing as her landlord on the phone. So her “landlord” told me that he gave her a 30 day notice to leave because he has to delead. I simply told him that the anti-discrimination laws in MA require that he deleads rather than evict tenants over lead paint which he did not want to hear.
I also searched Google and I found the following listing in the Worcester Telegram from 2014 “Tiana M. Holbrook-Williams, 19, of 4 Veterans Ave., Worcester, charged with larceny over $250”. Over the phone she confirmed to me that her middle initial is “M” and I could do the math that at the time of the publication she would have been 19 years old. The address “4 Veterans Ave” was not on her rental receipts so I don’t know what happened with this arrest and an arrest is not the same as conviction and on its own is not enough to deny housing but it is just another red flag. She also told me over the phone that her ex-boyfriend left 4 months ago and he used to pay half the rent but not anymore (later, after I declined for a 2nd time her application for bad credit and income being too low she changed her story and claimed that he is still sending her money for rent). In addition, she told me that someone else will be paying First, Last and Security which also was a bit of a red flag for me because even Section 8 tenants must come up with at least their own Security Deposit and she didn’t even have that. (later, after I declined her application for a 2nd time for bad credit and income being too low she claimed that she had savings but this organization is helping her because the move was not due to her doing. Gee, if that’s the threshold then anybody who gets a Notice for no-cause should get their First, Last and Security covered by whoever is giving her that money).
In any case I had decided that there were too many red flags so I texted her a 2nd denial “After thinking and looking at your whole record, I have decided to pass, because of your net income and credit”. But she just wasn’t going to accept that. Her boyfriend was still sending her money for rent (even though she never presented any proof), she had savings but she was going to accept someone else to pay for her First, Last and Security “because I am being misplaced not due to my doing”, I ask for a lot of information and then I don’t even help which is “ridiculous and unnecessary” and I am discriminating against her, etc and that I would be getting an “awful report on yelp”…Clearly her “landlord” and her had a conversation right after I talked with him where they discussed what I had told him about discrimination.
I saw that indeed she had posted a 1-star review about me on Yelp. I asked her to remove her unfair review because if not removed, I must publish a public answer to defend my business and she would not like the 1-star review she would get from me as a potential tenant and I told her that all future landlords and employers might read my review of her and decide to not rent to her or hire her. I asked twice over text explaining all of that to her but she said I was harassing her and she was not going to remove it. She said I should go ahead with my public reply.