Interesting tenant application

19 Replies

Hello, Gurus!

I got an interesting tenant application now

She is from Puerto Rico, moved here about 3 months ago (to texas and has been staying with her friends for now).

Her husband was killed in Iraq, so she is getting a social security for two kids - $1426 a month , they are 9 and 13 years old. she will be getting Social Security till they are 18 years old.

She is renting out her house in Puerto Rico for $1,000 where she lived from March 2005 till Oct 2014.

Most of her documents are in Spanish, of course... which I dont speak lol

So her steady income is $1426*2 and $1000, plus she started a new job at ADT in January 2015, $2000 a month plus commissions. so its a brand new job. Before that she worked as a realtor in PR.

My rent is $1375 , so technically she can afford it... even without actual job (Social Security and her rental income is $3852)

What are your thoughts on that? she is willing to pay the double deposit if needed or prepay 2 months rent

thank you!!

She looks good on paper. Does your gut feeling tell you otherwise, so, that you;re not comfortable with her?

As a leasing agent with a strict criteria for screening. i would say that shes probably a great applicant. We just ask that they provide documentation from them that they do in fact receive that amount for each kid. Not many of our applicants are playing the landlord game though. haha

She sounds like a good person to me, very polite and replies right away and willing to provide all needed information. Yes, I have documents in spanish (which I dont speak) to confirm her SS payments for kids and her rental house in PR. Just the fact that she is on a new job for only a month is a bit concerning, but with a guaranteed other income it looks like a good candidate...

@Yulia Kaygorodtseva I'm not sure how the social security checks are set up, but you may want to get some legal advice if, without the social security, you wouldn't rent to this perspective applicant. Reason being...

If the checks are made out to "Jane Doe (your applicant) for the benefit of Billy Doe (child)" or made payable to Billy Doe (applicants child) with Jane Doe (your applicant) listed as the custodian, you may not have legal recourse to gain access to these funds to recoup any unpaid rent or damages.

Not intended to be legal advice, as I am not a lawyer... Nor do I play one on TV ;)

I just have some experience in banking where we ran into situations where custodians weren't allowed to do certain things with these types of checks because the money is technically the child's and doesn't belong to the custodian.

It could be completely different in this instance... Just wanted to share!

Please, reject her application and tell her to move to New Hampshire.  I have a house for her and anyone at all with a similar profile.

Terri, her Social Security gets deposited to her checking account monthly

Originally posted by @Richard C. :

Please, reject her application and tell her to move to New Hampshire.  I have a house for her and anyone at all with a similar profile.

 Funny - same here for North Carolina though!

I say GO!

I live in Puerto Rico and I know many of my fellow Puertorricans are moving to Texas for better opportunities.

With so many things being 'new" - just moved there, new job, etc I would be cautious as well.  I like your idea of a double deposit or obtaining a last month's rent at move-in.  Do a last month vs 2 months pre-paid.  Let us know how it goes @Yulia Kaygorodtseva  !

yes, I will definitely need to get double deposit here or first and last month rent at once.

Her Social security pay is deposited to the checking account monthly. I am waiting on a credit and background check now. she did mention has some bad payments on a credit history, so I am curious to see that

There should be some proof of the deposit, either confirmations or the bank statements themselves. Some people on this thread are amused or think you are being difficult, but you have to gather these records for your tenant application file, in the event some disgruntled applicant gives you grief - you can demonstrate consistent behavior on your part for all applicants ...

yes, her bank statements show the monthly deposits from SS, its listed as SSA Treas SOC SEC

@Yulia Kaygorodtseva  generally SSI is not garnishable which is  what Terry is pointing to. That means if she stops working and the tenant in PR flakes out and stops paying rent you can't collect money owed via the court system. Practically, this is really not unlike a lot of tenants but it's nice to know how things will play out before you decide to rent to them.

Bill, same will go with any tenant  if they stop paying. At least with her I have a guaranteed income of $2800 a month no matter what..  her mortgage is 717, and she rented it for 1000, so $283 income there as well. $3K of steady income without the actual job income, rent is $1375. and she started a job. I am waiting on a credit report and background check now.

Is her "new" job in the same line of work as her previous employment? If so I would give her more points for that. If it is a professional position, even more so. Because she has not passed the probationary period, I would indeed request additional security deposit.

I wouldn't worry on whether the income could be garnished or not, SSA or other. What are the chances she will owe more than the security deposit and what are the chances you would actually spend the time and effort to do garnishment?

Her new job is different industry, she used to be a realtor in PR for 2 years, now selling ADT security to homeowners...  yes, the fact that she has been on MAIN USA land for just a month concerns me a lot, plus her main papers (bank statements and SS letters are all in spanish). 

so I think I will let this one go.... 

now second question comes from that, in the denial letter do any of you use any special wording or just say "sorry , but you did not qualify for my requirements for a tenant" - email and post mail it? thank you

@Bill S.  

In Texas,  wages cannot be garnished to satisfy a judgement 

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