A comedian from Sydney, Australia, looking for an apartment had his application withdrawn after he made an unorthodox request from the landlord: a reference from past tenants.
Tom Cashman made the request when searching for a new place to live late last month and documented the search on social media.
That’s when he decided to take the unusual step of asking the landlord to provide character references written by past tenants.
“It’s occurred to me I’ve never heard of anyone asking for this. But they asked me for like three references to see if I’m a good guy. But what about them?” he asked in an initial video. “Are you a good guy? Are you going to fix stuff? Are you going to reply to my emails? Are you just going to ignore me once I’m in there?”
His application was denied.
@tom.cashman Reply to @focusforte Landlord Reference request update #renting #sydney #rentalproperty #realestateagent #fy #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound – cashman.tom
“I was asking whether the owner would provide a reference, written by a previous tenant of theirs, recommending them as a landlord,” Cashman said. “I’ve found this is an effective way to find out if an owner is good to their tenants.”
The owner’s representative responded that they weren’t in contact with previous tenants and would not be providing a reference.
Shortly after Cashman followed up to press for a positive reference from the landlord written by a previous tenant, his application was withdrawn.
“I didn’t request to be withdrawn,” he says, “I just got withdrawn.”
In response to his asking about being withdrawn, the landlord’s representative told Cashman the property owner simply wanted a long-term lease period.
“Which, interestingly enough, was not an issue when I originally applied and got approved,” he says.
Cashman closes out by calling for more renters to ask for landlord references.
“If we all start doing it, it could become more normalized,” he said.