How to Spy the Truth by Brandon Varn

It is a funny thing to recognize when a person is lying. Lie detection tactics will let you know if someone is trying to pull a fast one. Some people may say ignorance is bliss, but in the world of a landlord, knowledge is power. In the military when you become a Non-Commission Officer (or NCO) they make you go through a school now called Warrior’s Training, formerly Primary Leadership Development Course (or PLDC). One of the most important subjects they go over is lie detection. Today I am going to go over the most common ways to tell if someone is lying to you. This can be a powerful tool to any landlord during the tenant screening process.

Imagine this… you’re on the way to meet a prospective tenant for the first time.  You’re happy because you think you may have found someone to fill a vacancy. In comes Tenant Smith. He says “Hi” and smiles naturally as he says it. During the meeting, you as if he has ever been evicted from a residence. He smiles and replies that he hasn’t; only it’s not the same natural smile. The smile looks forced and awkward. He sits there and touches his nose, mouth, or throat a lot when answering your questions. These are all signs that Tenant Smith may not be being completely honest. If you are a mindful landlord who does his/her background checks, knowing how to spot lies will put a lot of power in your hands. Following are three different tips on how to spot when someone may not be telling the truth.

  • Rule 1 Body Language: Touching of the nose, mouth, throat, and scratching behind the ears.  Not being able to sit straight and hiding their palms when answering questions.  While they are directly lying to you they will avoid body gestures.
  • Rule 2 Speech: If someone is speaking slowly to you, stopping or pausing during their story.  It is possibly because they are making it up as they go.  When someone is telling you a story and lying they are probably making most of the facts up as they talk. That pause and slow speech is them figuring out what they are going to tell you.
  • Rule 3 Reactions:  If someone is guilty they are often going to be defensive.  They will put accessible objects in-between you and them.

There are also some great books and sites that you may want to reference yourself.

Living in today’s high tech society, it is easy to find out anything someone has done.  Most people are going to leave a paper trail behind.  However, there are going to be a few who slip through the cracks.  If you can help yourself by knowing how to spot when someone is lying to you, you could really save a lot of time and money.

What would you do if you found a tenant hiding the truth from you?  Do you know any other detection methods?


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