Two girls, one room: help me pick the tenant!

17 Replies

I have one room left to rent out in my group house and I have two girls who have the exact same credit history, they submitted the rental application within minutes of each other, they showed up to look at the house at the exact same time, they both want to move in on the same date, basically they are equal in every way.  How should I fairly decide who I should offer the room to?  Decide based on whose name comes first in Alphabetical order?  Take votes in the BP forums? This is one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make as a landlord!  Help me!!

close your eyes clear your mind and imagine one of the tenants living in your home That is the tenant you want 

If they're both the same as applicants, then I'd say pick the one who turned it in first (even if it was literally by just a few minutes).

If these are applicants to a room in a home that you also live in, choose the one that seems to fit your household style the best.

with all else equal, go with the one that submitted first. 

go with first submitted for approval, and tell her she's got 24 hours to get everything signed and money in. Wait to tell #2 your decision until #1 has all signed.. 

Ways to pick - consider showing behavior - consider length of employment - consider responsiveness dont let the second choice go until the first makes the deposit.

Get a Bunk bed

"This is one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make as a landlord" hahaha! I wish that was one of the only tough decisions we had!!! :)  I would go with Deanna's suggestion! 

Ultimately, I looked at where both of the potential tenants worked and used google maps to determine who the house is a better fit for based on what their commute would be, then I followed Deanna's advice and offered the room to the one who would have the better commute if she can sign the lease and give me the security deposit within 24 hours.

Thanks to all for your help in this dilemma!

You did not dig deep enough in your screening process. No two people are ever equal. You need to dig deeper into their personalities if the facts are the same. One will be crazier than the other.

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

You did not dig deep enough in your screening process. No two people are ever equal. You need to dig deeper into their personalities if the facts are the same. One will be crazier than the other.

I agree with Thomas. You have to look at all of the social media sites these days. Last one I rejected had a YouTube channel and that had mostly nightclub videos on it, twerking away ...

Since you have a rooming situation, you definitely want somebody who will not be disruptive.

I will approach both be honest with them. Often one wants more will offer more.

If they were absolutely equal, the first one to apply and be approved would be the first one I offer it to. That's the fair way.

As @Thomas S. said, I'm sure there's something different about them that you just haven't found yet. How much do they earn and how long have they been at their current job or in their current career? Who has more open lines of credit or hits on their credit report? Who drives the nicer (cleaner) car? What is their income:debt ratio? Which one shows more respect? How long did they stay at their last rental and how long have they been renters in their life?

There are many, many questions you could ask to differentiate the two.

Originally posted by @Roger S. :

Three's Company.

 Yeah and I'm Mr. Furley.

Sounds like a fight to the death. Sell tickets.

I ultimately offered the room to the person who worked closer to the house so they would have a better commute.  Really I was looking out for the other tenant since her commute to work each day would have been awful.  People tend to overuse the word "hero" so I won't use it to describe myself in this situation but clearly I'm doing the Lord's work over here. :)

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