Must a tenant qualify alone or can the family as a whole qualify?

5 Replies

I got a call from a person interested in one of my properties I just closed on, which is still a month away from the rehab being done. She sounded a little hesitant about the requirements but she said that she, her husband, and her 20 year old daughter all work. Let's say that, hypothetically, none of them qualify individually, but they do qualify if they all apply together, would you allow them to "qualify"? What would you do in this case? 

You may want to get referrals from previous landlords to verify if they paid on time. Have one fill out your application and provide total income for the household. Then do your due diligence. 

For income ratios, you should certainly add the husband and wife together (as that gives you the long-term possibility). If those two qualify income-wise, that's great, because they might be willing and able to stay a long while. 

If you're willing to rent for just one year or so, then you could consider all three incomes together. In a case like that, you should probably assume that the daughter will want to move out at some point and that might make the whole family move.

I take an application for each family member over the age of 18 and each one is then listed on the lease and is responsible,  in whole or part. This way if the daughter should move out, the other two are responsible for the entirety. 

We look at it collectively, but we only consider the income of those who's credit isn't trashed.

Thank you for your help! Now, how dow I look at their income collectively? I should run a credit/background check on all of them right? Would that mean that I should collect an application fee from each of them?

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