Underwriting residential leases

2 Replies

I have started to get more rental listings in urban settings and I am running into some unfamiliar territory underwriting these prospective tenants. I am use to people who are US citizens, have credit/rental history, and w2 income.

One group of people I have applying are foreign students. They come to study for a semester or several years. They do not have credit history nor do their parents. Usually their parents are guaranteeing the lease. Sometimes they have US bank accounts but many times they do not.  What information should I be requesting from these people? Should I be verifying they here legally? If so what paperwork should they be providing me. What should I be collecting from them or their parents to guarantee payment of rent?

The second group I have been running into are people here with no ssn, and are only paid in cash?  As a landlord or rental agent what would you want to be collecting from this group to ensure they will not default on the lease. I have run into some that claim they make a lot of money.

Another group I run into are people who have no or very little credit/rental history but are US citizens. They do not have any w2 income, however they have all these other streams of income from various sources, charity groups, SSI, state or federal government funds, child support, alimony. Honestly I never even knew this much money was out there. I am not familiar with all these sources or how often they pay, and how long they will continue to pay these people. What should I be requesting from these people to properly underwrite them?

Another group I often run into are self employed US citizens who have credit history. I am guessing with this group I need to collect bank statements, and tax returns? What should I be looking for on their tax returns? Anything else I should be requesting?

Thank you for helping me. If anyone has any websites or links to articles on this subject matter it would be appreciated. 

You set your rental criteria,, and let applicants know in advance what your screening for.

Over age of 21, Valid SSN, Verifiable income, credit 2 (?) times the rent, No Felonies or Gross Misdemeanors, No evictions, and require a Photo ID.. you screening goes back 7 years.. so if they don't fall in that field then they don't qualify or apply.. We would only do students if they had a co-signer and were in school full time.. that was only exception. but still had to be over 21

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