This is not a new tactic it is an old one of which you have not run across.
You have been very lucky in the past. Really until you run into a problem it is easy not to know what the laws are.
People on this forum have either experienced or have heard horror stories of LL whom have been taken advantage of and experienced lareg money losses due to not knowing their state laws.
Really screening your tenants is the best way to protect yourself. Way I figure is if the tenant has something to lose it evens the playing field. I was warned in advance of how I would fail being a landlord. I was told not to be a landlord because it is only big trouble. Well I came to the conclusion that someone with a good credit score will not give me grief in the form of non payment and or forcing me to evict. The other 15% is knowing your law so you understand how to proceed when you do end up running into trouble.