Tenant Screening in NJ

3 Replies

Hi All,

New landlord in Norther New Jersey, have a question about tennant screening for any folks doing buisiness locally.

From my past experience in New York I was under the impression that asking for the following things is standard practice:

--3 month most recent bank statements

--3 months most recent pay stubs

--Last year's W2

--Last year's Income Tax Return

Im am currently hearing that due to privacy concerns these items are not requrested in my area and they would  chase away potental tenants becuase no one else is asking for this information. That currently only a report from (National Tenant Network www.ntnonline.com) which obfuscates most of their personal inforamtion is the norm and is enough to make a decision on a potential tenant.

Please advise. 

Regards,

Felix

I have several clients nationwide that are property managers and I actually live in jersey so I am familiar with the standard practices.  You are correct, that is standard practice and you have every right to ask for such information. Hope your new role is going well

Hi Felix,

 I have not found that to be standard practice. I've been working in leasing/property management in Northern NJ for several years, and don't often come across landlords and brokers asking for the requirements you posted, at least initially. I'm sure it can vary, but I can speak to Northern NJ regarding Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Essex, Morris, and Sussex Counties. Specific circumstances may require more info - such as self employed applicants, applicants who have no established credit, or applicants who are from another country, and are here on a work or student visa. 

In most cases the usual is an application (including info to verify employment, current residence plus the previous two residences, and 3-5 personal references.) In addition to that we'll run a credit, eviction, and criminal background check. 

In areas like Hoboken and Jersey City you'll often have tenants looking for their first apartment right out of college. In those places we ask for a letter of employment and a guarantor, in addition to the app process mentioned above.

 It's important to make sure any guarantors or co signors live in NJ, as local laws make it extremely difficult to go after a guarantor that's out of state. (Also, make sure you run the credit report on the guarantor as well.) 

My experience as LL in Morris County has been as described by Tim Booz.  I have found this to be the most common screening process in networking w/other LL's.

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