Rent to income ratio for roommates/couples?

3 Replies

I know 3:1 income to rent is the general rule, but what rule do you use for roommates or couples? If there are 2 roommates do you just require 3:1 total or do you require that they each make half of the ratio (1.5:1)? Does this change for married couples since they are legally 1 entity?

for roomates yes looking at the amount they are each responsible for


1000 rent each is responsible for 500 so would need 1500 income EACH

For a couple some people take just 1 of the incomes to make sure they can cover it with the 1/3 rule.

You're asking about married couples? For married couples, I don't require each of their incomes to cover 1.5 times the rent. I combine their income and make sure they get to 3 times the rent.

If they weren't married, I might look to see more since its easier for one of them to move on. Same with roommates. I'm very hesitant to do 3 to 1 for roommates. They're much bigger risk for having one move out.

Typically, I look to see if one of them can cover the rent by themselves (3 to 1). If not, I pass. I just haven't liked the odds of getting a long term tenant from roommates based on a couple of the experiences I've had. One year has been pretty typical. I had one that made it two. They just don't last and then if they can't afford the place on their own, they move.

Interesting, thanks guys. Do you require applications and credit checks from both people if they're married?

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