Would you rent to someone with a past eviction?

15 Replies

Ive got a prospective tenant with an old past eviction. My original rule was no evictions but I know people change. Just 5 years ago I wouldn't have considered myself rentable. And she is willing to have a cosigner on the lease.

Not unless you aren't able to rent your unit otherwise. 

If you're in a C area, you're going to have to learn to accept some, like the ones five years or older.

Lenders like b of A used to approve mortgages to those filed bankruptcy previously and they turned out to be reliable borrowers.

I would take a measured approach. A past eviction would not be an automatic disqualifier but, realistically, it would move them lower in priority if i have 15 applications for the same vacancy. It means more due diligence on the part of the Land Lord. What were the circumstances? I had a dispute with a landlord many years ago over a pool that turned green and a refrigerator that failed. It could have gotten ugly. Automatically rejecting evictees means automatically taking the "side" of the past landlord. And that is not always warranted.

I don't.. Evictions take time to unfold and are expensive. Most landlords will give you options to leave/pay prior to this process. If a tenant chooses to ride out the process for the "free lunch",it says a lot about them. 

I’ve accepted marginally risky tenants when they came with a very solid co-signer and it’s worked out. I check out the co-signer as carefully as I do the tenant. Regardless, I wouldn’t accept the tenant if they have a habitual spotty record.
Good luck!

Thomas Robb simply NO!! Let another handle it. Unless you plan on making this a part of your niche, stay away from evictions for if they have one, they won’t mind another.

Although this decision may end up hurting your holding costs for a little while, in the end it will save you months of lost rent as well as the cost of a lawyer.

People with evictions need a place to live. With all the money they saved while not paying their landlords they can buy their own house.

I would never rent to someone with a past eviction. I would rather rent to someone with bad credit if it is a C area than someone with a past eviction. No matter what there excuse is I would not even entertain it.

I never rent to someone with an eviction. As stated above, there are many opportunities for a tenant to move out prior to an eviction going to judgement. 

Also, you may potential be leasing to a tenant that is not only comfortable with navigating through the eviction process but also skilled at how to prolong the eviction through actions such calling code enforcement for mold, claiming there is vital maintenance not corrected by landlord......

If you are in even a mildly good rental area I would take a chance on younger folks with no rental history before I gambled with someone that has proved they are potential to not pay.

Here in NJ they are proposing new rules against Landlords blacklisting tenants.

Unfortunately there are far to many horrible landlords hiding behind LLC's in many areas of my state and they give us all bad names. Many tenants who attempt to take their slumlords to court because rats were sharing the crib with their child or the slumlord decided not to heat the building in January, are faced with eviction proceedings. They have the potential to be blacklisted because they rented from a scumbag.

As such, and to keep ahead of the curve, I ask potential tenants whether they have faced eviction proceedings. If they have I will ask them to explain the circumstances.

As I renovate and rent each apartment I find that I am pricing out these issues. But when I took over the 4 unit they all had a history of eviction proceedings and not for good reason... they have since moved on.

See:

http://www.app.com/story/insider/extras/2017/01/05/asbury-park-press-investigative-series-renter-hell/96195072/

@Thomas Robb,

It all depends on your area, if it's an A/B house, I wouldn't  as you'll get a ton of other applicants with time.

If it's in a C+- area, yes, I'd absolutely look at the application.   What's her credit like-- when was her most recent missed payment if any?   Does she have good job stability?   Does it make sense why she's moving?   I'd do a M2M,  and stress to her that it's a 2 way street, and have the co-signer for good measure too.

Originally posted by @Thomas Robb:

Ive got a prospective tenant with an old past eviction. My original rule was no evictions but I know people change. Just 5 years ago I wouldn't have considered myself rentable. And she is willing to have a cosigner on the lease.

Yes we do, if they meet all of our rental criteria (residence/rental history, income/employment history, financial/credit history, legal/criminal history)  and with additional security deposit to cover our risk.  We will consider the circumstances too, which led to the eviction. 

We once rented to a woman with an eviction on her record and her tenancy with us was successful. Imagine the previous landlord's surprise when 8 years after evicting a tenant, the tenant came forward, apologized to him and paid him all that she owed. 

It's possible to make amends and move forward with one's life. Tenants with legal infractions in their past often find barriers to housing and employment. Those who rise above their past mistakes can become good upstanding members of the community again. Landlords can play a role by recognizing this and helping those worthy of a second chance find good housing.

Excerpt from our rental criteria:

RESIDENCE/RENTAL HISTORY

1.We will examine the most recent five years of residence history and all legal history.

2.Home ownership will be verified through the tax assessors office and/or credit report.

3.Rental history will be verified through the property owner and/or rental agent.

4.Rental history reflecting any unpaid past due rent, damages or fees will result in denial.

5.Rental history showing excessive property damage, excessive noise, or unruly behavior will result in denial.

6.Three or more notices for failure to pay rent and/or to comply with the terms of the rental agreement, within a 12 month period, will result in denial.

7.A person with an eviction or unlawful detainer on their record may be approved if full restitution has been made. We would require an additional security deposit as well to mitigate our risk. One eviction only. Multiple evictions will result in denial.

8.Long term rental history or home ownership is favorable.Residence history that shows an excessive number of moves within the last five years will require additional security deposit.

9.If residency was out of state within the last five years, an additional fee may be necessary to conduct an out of state background check.

I would never consider renting to someone with a past eviction. The tenant pool is too wide and my apartments are too nice to even consider the potential headache. 

I set my screening standards and never compromise on them. No point in having any standards if you are not willing to hold to them. Personally I never waste time trying to make a applicant fit my standards by compromising. My time is too valuable and good tenants are often as a close as the next applicant.

Set your standards and don't waste time on those that clearly do not qualify. Keep in mind the purpose of screening is to find reasons to reject applicants. When you can not find a reason to reject you have a tenant.

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

I set my screening standards and never compromise on them. No point in having any standards if you are not willing to hold to them. Personally I never waste time trying to make a applicant fit my standards by compromising. My time is too valuable and good tenants are often as a close as the next applicant.

Set your standards and don't waste time on those that clearly do not qualify. Keep in mind the purpose of screening is to find reasons to reject applicants. When you can not find a reason to reject you have a tenant.

 I had planed to stick to my standards but being new I'm thinking I might have set them too high for the area. In 2 weeks I've had dozens of inquiries but only 2 people have showed up for their tour and even though they have asked for application I have not received any applications.  

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