tenant application questions

7 Replies

We have only placed tenants 3 times, with one of them not working out very well (so I am gun shy).  There are enough small things that bother me that I thought I would seek input from more experienced landlords.

Single dad (with 2 85 lb mastiffs), his 19 year old son, 24 year old daughter and her boyfriend.  Would you recommend having all four sign leases?

Dad's gross = 1.5x rent

daughter's gross = said 1.5x rent, but am waiting for her to provide 1099s to confirm as she is an independent contractor

son and boyfriend will be another 1.5x rent total, but haven't verified income or run their credit checks yet as I have questions about the things I have found out so far. 

Dad and daughter have credit obligation minimum payments over 20% of their gross pay, our rent would be another 25% of gross.  In your experience, is this a workable set of obligations? 

The dad failed to include a car loan on the app (he said he is co-signer on another son's loan and forgot about it). 

The daughter failed to include a car loan on the app (she said she is co-signer on her boyfriend's car loan and didn't know if she needed to include it as he pays the bill), and told me $100 in credit card obligations vs the actual of $328.

They have credit scores of just over 600 for one, mid 500 for the other, and have no late monthly payments on the credit report. 

I met the dad and daughter and they presented themselves well (and no red flags on their facebook pages).

I am still waiting for their landlord to call back.  They were paying quite a bit less there, but were there for 5 years (they said they are leaving because landlord is selling).

With my limited experience these small things all make me concerned, and I don't have enough experience to tell if I am over-thinking.

Thanks for any input. 

@S Harper

What size property are you renting?  How much is the monthly and security?  Are they able to put down all the security?

My initial reaction is to keep looking.  Large dogs and 4 adults are harder on a property.  Sub 600 credit scores, rent income ratio etc would all pile up to be a pass if it were my property.

Originally posted by @S Harper :

Single dad (with 2 85 lb mastiffs), his 19 year old son, 24 year old daughter and her boyfriend.  Would you recommend having all four sign leases?


I would have said no after reading this one sentence. Not only would the mastiffs be an issue (they can be very friendly but are drooly/messy and who knows which of these people would be responsible for them), but there are simply too many people who could easily bail out of this at any time. Daughter/boyfriend could skip out or break up, son could move out with them, or with someone else, Dad could leave the kids there, etc.

I once rented to a "family" of a mother/child, grandmother and the mother's girlfriend. The mother had an $800 Section 8 voucher and told me (a brand new landlord at the time) that her mother and girlfriend would pay the other $200 of the rent, which was $1000 total. 

I had no idea that was not allowed by S8, and someone more experienced than I was could have predicted what happened - the grandmother and girlfriend moved out after the 2nd month, and the remaining mother/daughter simply told me their voucher was $800 and that's all I was going to get.

With this group's low credit scores and amnesia about certain debt, definitely pass.

No way. Too many red flags for me.

I'd have the mastiffs sign on so you can check their income and credit as well

I would never rent to these folks.  Too many people, too many issues.  Red flags all over the place.

Just too many red flags.Do not rent to them.

We don't allow pet dogs, or credit scores below 600.  I'd pass.

You also didn't say how many bedrooms your unit is (big enough for 4 adults?).

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