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Annoyed by Petty Lie, Ditch Potenital LTR Over It?

Former Airbnb guest contacted me about renting for 5 or 6 months later this year, had found my listing on FF. They were an excellent guest and we were friendly with one another while they were here. Asked for monthly price, then said it was too much for them, okay.

Came back later inquired as to whether there may be a discount for 6 months (to me, the only thing worse than a discounted monthly rent is a discounted monthly rent for 6 months, especially over the winter with heat). I gave a firm no, they said they understood. Came back 2 weeks later and they want to rent the place at my price. Ok. Fine.

Oddly, it is not the discount seeking that is my issue with this person. I send out an Adobe fill and sign form to get general information about a potentilal tenant, employment, pets, etc. I also do the lease with the same system. They get notice that the form is available on Adobe by email. And Adobe sends me an alert whenever someone opens the document and also an alert if they read it (which I guess is based on scrolling).

I sent this person the form and they read it less than an hour after I sent it. It was on Saturday night and I did not have any expectation of having it returned completed until at least Monday or Tuesday. Come Tuesday evening, I haven’t received it but I get a text message from the potential tenant saying that they “hey, I’ve been traveling and not checking my emails, I just now saw that you sent me an email”.

But I know, for sure, that they not only saw my email several days ago but also opened and read the document. So they are just casually telling a lie. I don’t even understand why or what the point is. Why not just fill out the form and send it back, why tell a stupid lie about just seeing it? It’s only been 2 business days, a reasonable amount of time to return a form. If you tell a stupid lie about something that doesn’t matter then how is it possible that you could be an honest when it’s important?

Anyways, I want to ditch this person now. And I have two questions for you guys.

  1. Does anyone disagree and think it’s not that a big of a deal?
  2. Do I tell them why (the lie about the document)? If not, what do I say? I don’t want to lie too.

edit to add: We have always done LTR, it isn’t a new process for us.

Not a big deal. I get wayyyyyy too many emails so I may quickly open one to see if it is important, flag or delete it. If flagged then come back later when I have time to devote to it. Sometimes I’ve gotten busy & i was slow to get back to it.

I might would’ve told a fib too to give a short reason for not responding more quickly.

To describe my email review process is too long and boring. Are you feeling the urge to yawn now? :thinking:

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It doesn’t have anything to do with their email process. They actually clicked on the document in the email and then opened up the document through a separate website and scrolled through it, enough to be reported as “read”. They went several steps beyond the email.

That’s my process too, but this isn’t that. They went well off of the email, onto a website and scrolled through the document.

It’s possible he saw the email, tried to scroll through it on his phone. Couldn’t see anything, much less fill it out. And couldn’t possibly sit down and really read it until he got home. Sure, he could have told all that but why? At what point is it too much information? The point is he couldn’t fill out the forms until he got home from traveling.

It sounds like a long term rental makes you uncomfortable, even with a known renter you thought was pretty good. You don’t need to come up with a reason, and it looks like you are trying to find one. It could be you don’t do long term rentals, and that is ok.

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I appreciate your response.

It doesn’t have anything to do with their email process. They actually clicked on the document in the email and then opened up the document through a separate website and scrolled through it, enough to be reported as “read”. They went several steps beyond the email.

That’s my process too, but this isn’t that. They went well off of the email, onto a website and scrolled through the document.

It was only the second business day. Does that not seem quickly to you? The rental wouldn’t start until the end of the year, I figured on 2 or 3 business days, but would you feel bad for not responding on Monday?

By the way, don’t “fib” regarding an Adobe sign document, because you will get busted. And it’s only a fib if the other person doesn’t found out. When they find out, then it’s a lie. :wink:

We’ve always had long term rentals. I’m not unfomfortable with them in general. I’m not even technically uncomfortable with this one. I just hate liers. Maybe I don’t want a dishonest vibe in the building.

Possibly, but it’s Adobe and it’s made to be done easily on the App. I almost always sign leases with tenants on my phone through Adobe. And this person does something in technology so I doubt it’s an equipment issue.

So if they couldn’t read it, that’s fine, but if that’s true why not say that? It’s not like they didn’t say anything, they said something untrue. Personally, I don’t think anything at all needed to be said anyway. It was only the 2nd business day. It’s not as if they flaked out for a week or two.

When it’s fabricated? And especially when it wasn’t needed at all?

I do appreciate your response, thank you!

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Like you, I strongly dislike lying and try not to do it myself. I talk too much and am honest to a fault. Given that this is a repeat guest that you liked I think I’d be honest. But you can do it in a way that doesn’t make it personal/hostile. So, after ruminating on it as you have I’d text back. “Yes I was alerted by Adobe on Saturday that you’d opened the document. Since I hadn’t heard back from you or gotten the form returned I figured you must have questions or had gotten busy.”

No need to explicitly tell them that you think they are a liar at this point. Just stick to a recitation of the facts. How they respond to your reply can be another data point in your decision whether or not to go ahead with the lease. It sounds like you could still go either way so give the person the chance to dig the hole deeper or redeem themselves.


I often open up an email, start scrolling and then think ,”omg this is a bigger thing than I have time for right now.” I close it up and come back later. I personally wouldn’t make such a deal of it.


Nobody gets that it’s the “petty lie,” that’s bothering you. This tells me that in our society petty lies are a communication norm and no big deal. Not news but still always effing depressing when I see it here on the forum.


I would bet that the prospective tenant is continuing to search for cheaper accommodations and trying to avoid becoming vested in your rental as long as possible. He doesn’t want you to know it and is just making up an excuse for not getting it done and he thinks you’ll just brush it off. I expect once he signs the lease (if he signs it), it’ll be fine.


Agreed. Great way to be neutral but let them know you know they opened it… blah blah and that their “just read it” doesn’t float. Next move theirs without offending them.

Agreed. Nothing drives me nuts more than the unnecessary fib/lie/omission. Tell me the truth. Because I’m really good at spotting lies and I’ll just walk.

It’s a sad statement of our society that so many people feel the need to revisit being 12 years old on a regular basis.


This wouldn’t bother me, or it would be overriden by the actual, good experience I had with them as a guest.

I would guess that they are worried you think they didn’t reply quickly enough, or that they are buying time while they look for lower cost accommodation, or . . . who knows?

Did you set a response deadline? If not, set a short one, and if they do not respond, cancel. Expecting a bad experience sometimes creates one. Your expectation now is that they are untrustworthy and – you know yourself best – will you be on edge and monitoring for deceitful behavior from now on?

I read an article once about the incidence of white lies people tell to make themselves look better, smooth over social situations, or avoid upsetting others. The average daily rate was astounding.


It wouldn’t bother me, there’s a distinction to me between telling a little fib or “white lie” which doesn’t hurt anyone, and telling a lie that actually would affect others in a negative way.

However, this obviously affected you in a negative way, so it seems like your attitude towards this person would now be affected by it, so I could understand you not wanting to rent to her (and on top of the discount seeking and first saying too expensive and then changing her mind, it adds annoyance to annoyance).

If one’s 80 year old Auntie just bought a new dress she loves, but that you feel doesn’t flatter her at all, and she asks how you like it, I would tend to say “Oh, it’s lovely”, because that fib hurts no one and would make her feel good.

But if a close friend asked me the same thing, I would be more likely to be totally honest- “It’s a really nice dress, but I think that with your hair color and complexion, there are colors that are more flattering to you, like that sapphire blue dress you have, which looks fabulous on you.”

I might tell one of my upholstery clients, if I’m 10 minutes late, that I got stuck in traffic, rather than admit I just left my house too late. Silly, I know.

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It doesn’t have anything to do with how she looks at email. She opened a document that was inside the email and then had to go to a website to read the document. That’s how I know she got the email, because that was the only way for her to get to the website to read the document. And I got notified that she had read the document (not the email).

You would take a dishonest tenant during a time of mass evictions? We’ve already done one this year and would like some time off from it.

I hope so. I encouraged her to do that. I even gave her links to cheaper furnished rentals. She already said that my places were too expensive for her and that is not ideal in a tenant. I was really hoping she would find something else. And I have to ask myself why she didn’t.

She came back to me, multiple times, I have not ever reached out to her. We don’t have any problems renting these apartments. Besides, it was only 2 business days, I wouldn’t have expected to get back before then. That’s why I think it’s strange. She didn’t have anything to explain, but did so anyway and untruthfully.

Yes, thank you!!

Blows my mind. Some people will look up a guest’s FB page who is going to stay for 2-days and will worry about a 4 star house rules rating but think it’s okay for a potential tenant to be untruthful. I will admit that I hold honesty to a high standard, it’s like pregnancy, you are either honest or you are not.

I encouraged her to find lower cost accommodation, I even sent her some links to some.

But as a guest, it was for 12 days and she was getting a review too. This would be actual legal tenancy, which is far more complicated. It would also be downstairs from my apartment.

No, I didn’t. But she was responded on the 2nd business day which seems quite speedy to me. I also didn’t care if she responded or not, to be truthful.

Right. But those things are still lies. And they are not acceptable when dealing with a legal document. And, ironically, when she did fill out and sign the document (30 sec after telling a lie), she electronically signed this statement:

I certify that all the information given above is true and correct and understand that my lease or
rental agreement may be terminated if I have made any material false or incomplete statements in this application.

It’s kind of funny isn’t it.

I think people “victimless” lies — I know I definitely do — when they are uncertain of how the truth will be received. That might not be acceptable to the strictest truth tellers, but I think it’s a very understandable reaction, especially if the liar has less power or ability to protect themselves.

In this case, I don’t think anyone else’s opinion matters, does it? Your decision, and also your decision to explain why you made it.


I understand that and I know a lot of people are comfortable with that. Even I will tell a telemarketer that I am busy when I’m not. And I know that I am very strict with honesty, so maybe I feel bad about being so strict, so I really do want the feedback (I honestly don’t understand). However, if she was a casual acquaintance or even a friend, it wouldn’t be such a big deal (I would still be disappointed in her, but forgiving). But this is a legal relationship.

Can there really be a “victimless” lie in a landlord-tenant situation, a legal relationship? I can’t imagine lying to a potential landlord. I now assume that she must be lying about figuring out how to pay rent that she has already said is beyond her budget. And I am feeling like she was so friendly to me when she was a guest just so that she could try and take advantage of me later, that is how it felt when she asked me for a discount.

In that case, honestly, I think it’s very clear that you shouldn’t rent to her at this point, or at least express your concern about honesty and let her decide whether to try to explain/apologize and continue with the booking or withdraw.

And I think either thing is OK, right? If this is a core value/principle for you, that’s that. We all have them.


You should just tell her you’ve decided you aren’t going to rent the apartment after all.


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Sometimes hosts block days and tell guests they were booked, people lie all the time.

Like judge judy says about teenagers, you know they are lying because their mouth is moving.

I would not let it bother me unless I suspected a pattern or some sorta fraud bubbling up.



Or maybe I’ll tell her that the building burned down just last night so it’s not available now.


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