New Landlord application process help!

6 Replies

Hi folks!

First showings today!  4 applicants applied. Looking for some advice on next steps! How do you do it? Is my proposed way good? 

I was thinking of reviewing all applications and putting in order of most qualified on paper. Then start processing(checks, verifications). First processed application meeting qualifications gets approved and the rest get their money refunded. Or should i process all applications and then select most qualified based on complete picture. 

Thoughts?

Hi Byron,

To be fair you, should process the applications in the order you received them.

This way you avoid being accused of discriminating.

Good Luck.

 Hi Deanna 

Thanks for the response. I have considered first come first serve.  I have however already disclosed to a few applicants that most qualified applicant will be selected. Do you foresee problems with changing tactics? 

Originally posted by @Byron Bohlsen :

Hi folks!

First showings today!  4 applicants applied. Looking for some advice on next steps! How do you do it? Is my proposed way good? 

I was thinking of reviewing all applications and putting in order of most qualified on paper. Then start processing(checks, verifications). First processed application meeting qualifications gets approved and the rest get their money refunded. Or should i process all applications and then select most qualified based on complete picture. 

Thoughts?

You are on the right track. Your original thought is fine. That's how we do it.  We collect a number of applications, review them, and then process the application that best meets our rental criteria first.  As long as you are upfront with all prospective tenants about your application process you will be fine. Be sure to establish your rental criteria and apply it fairly to all applicants.

You don't have to process applications "first come-first serve". If you do, you may pass up the opportunity to get the most qualified applicant as your tenant. Allowing more time for people to interview, view the property, and complete the application will provide a fairer playing field. For example, a full time employed person may not be able to see the property and apply until after their work shift, while someone else may have more flexibility and be able to beat the others to get their application in first. We advertise, telephone screen, and then set up appointments for showing. We let all prospective tenants know that we will be accepting applications on the day of the showing and for at least one day after the showing. The prospective tenants don't feel rushed and do a better job of filling out the application.

We also refund the application fee if we don't fully process an application. We might not fully process an application for a number of reasons: the applicant withdraws their application; there is something that came up in the interview or on the application which indicates they do not meet our minimum criteria to rent; we already chose another applicant. We verify income/employment first, then housing/rental history. Then we use the application fee to get the credit history and legal history from a tenant screening company.

Thanks for sharing @Marcia Maynard

3 of the 4 applicants meet my minimum requirements. 

For those that chose most qualified, how to do you decide who is most qualified? My plans are/were to compare wage, length of rental history, and job tenure on paper, and then process applications first based on best combination of those. As it turns out I am having difficulty selecting who to process first! 

Applicants A) Young married couple with combined wage of 115k. Separately both make enough to cover the min 3x. Has been renting since 9/2012. Longest job tenure is since 8/2013.

Applicants B) Young couple with combined wage of 73k. Only one is working, one is going back to grad school. Mother of applicant going to grad school is willing to cosign if requested, I said since they meet the min income requirements it shouldn't be necessary. (Was this a mistake?) Has been renting since 5/11. Longest job tenure is since 3/08. Also discovered they spend a lot of time drinking. 

Applicants C) Young couple with combined wage of 86k. Separately one applicant makes just under 3x min. Has been renting since 6/08. Longest job tenure is since 6/06. Applicant seems to have moved around the least and disclosed they have looked at 7-8 properties and mine is the first they have applied for. 

Originally posted by @Byron Bohlsen :

Thanks for sharing @Marcia Maynard

3 of the 4 applicants meet my minimum requirements. 

For those that chose most qualified, how to do you decide who is most qualified? My plans are/were to compare wage, length of rental history, and job tenure on paper, and then process applications first based on best combination of those. As it turns out I am having difficulty selecting who to process first! 

Applicants A) Young married couple with combined wage of 115k. Separately both make enough to cover the min 3x. Has been renting since 9/2012. Longest job tenure is since 8/2013.

Applicants B) Young couple with combined wage of 73k. Only one is working, one is going back to grad school. Mother of applicant going to grad school is willing to cosign if requested, I said since they meet the min income requirements it shouldn't be necessary. (Was this a mistake?) Has been renting since 5/11. Longest job tenure is since 3/08. Also discovered they spend a lot of time drinking. 

Applicants C) Young couple with combined wage of 86k. Separately one applicant makes just under 3x min. Has been renting since 6/08. Longest job tenure is since 6/06. Applicant seems to have moved around the least and disclosed they have looked at 7-8 properties and mine is the first they have applied for. 

Since we do a comprehensive tenant screening interview (you can download it from BP - go to Resources/File Place/Other Documents) we gather quite a bit of helpful information before people even see the place or apply. When we get the completed application we verify the income and rental history, before spending money on credit and legal background checks. If there are several who are good candidates, we start by verifying the income/employment history on all of them and checking into their housing/rental history. 

We favor people who have a history of good long term tenancies and/or seem likely they will be renting long term. We look for total household income (not individual) that is 3x the rent. We never ask for co-signers. If the applicant is higher risk in one of our categories, we would ask for more security deposit instead. We want responsible renters, so we look for indicators of that. We also favor those who are cooperative and polite. We want to know why they are moving and what attracts them to our property. Based on the scant information you provided, and if they met our minimum criteria in all other respects, applicant C seems the most promising to me. I would process their application first.

Hi @Marcia Maynard

I was thinking along those lines as well as Applicants C seem the most "stable". I like your plan of doing some of the verification before spending the money for the checks but in my case I am having rentprep perform these duties so its kind of an all or nothing deal with them. One consideration to be made that I forgot to mention ( and one that I am having a hard time getting past) is that applicants C are not looking to take over until Aug 1st, whereas the other applicants can move July 1st. 

Applicants A know the area quite well and like it. The reason they are moving is to find a larger, quieter location. All the applicants were plenty nice, but I would say these were the most polite and asked the most questions (of me, as it were). 

Applicants B and C don't know the area very well, they just really like my unit and is in a location that fairly splits their commutes. Applicants C are also looking to move to find a quieter location. Applicants C seemed a little disappointed my unit doesn't offer extra amenities (gym, pool). 

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