Take her or reject her as tenant

10 Replies

Hi all , I have this place in Arlington Texas . A girl want to apply . She seems very nice . Work at restaurant Make about 2300 to 2400 per month . Only want to stay for one year . However here is th catch, her credit score is on the 600 ish. Had a lot late payment that happens more than 7 years ago ( according to her I can’t tell. Credit report just show over 3 years) All the current one is onTime . She say her fincial advisor tell her do not pay it off for the anything in the past ( why? IDK) She say she rent a room from a family now and she is not happy there because place is not a very nice place. Haven’t call for reference yet. But wondering if I should reject her or call for reference from current and previous landloard . Thanks

If she does not meet your pre-determined and declared/written criteria for income and credit score, then reject. If she does meet your pre-determined and declared/written criteria then move on to calling all references. Do not skip the reference check.

I have found that the last 3-5 yrs are the most reliable indicators of a good tenant. Something 7-10 years ago often times does not matter as life for them may have been very different at that time. If references, income, credit score, and rental references are solid, I would probably go with it.

Brian Corbett, Real Estate Agent in NC (#208336)

For me her credit score is a 100% totally irrelevant.

The reason I would  be questioning whether to rent to her is because she only wants to stay for one year.  I probably would not rent to her for that reason unless I felt I could not get a longer term tenant.

I would rent it to her. You said the Credit Report said it was 3+ years ago. Life changes for all of us.

@Liz C. It sounds like she had a rough past in making her payments, however like many have mentioned, that was in the past and based on the info you provided, she is doing better and paying on time now.  You need to have a set criteria and stick to it when accepting tenants, whatever that may be. 

I would definitely call current and previous landlords for references, those will be your best indicator if she is a good renter or not.  (Just make sure it is for sure a previous or current landlord and not some friend trying to put in a good word for her.)

As for her income, is she a server/bartender where a lot of her income will be tips?  Does she have proof she earns $2300-$2400/month?  If not, her income verification is only what she can prove on a paycheck.  Don't fall for some line like, "I know my paycheck is only $X.  But really I earn $Y with all the tips I don't report."  Sure, it could be true.  But it could also just as easily be a major exaggeration, in order to look better as an applicant.

Jennifer T.

    Like @Ihe O. , my concern with her would be that she only plans to stay one year.  I like tenants who plan to stay longer, preferably at least 2-3 years.  Turnover can be expensive and I wouldn't want to have to do it every year. 

    @Liz C. If the credit report you have only shows 3 years and not when the records drop off then ask her to pull copies of her report from all 3 bureaus through annualcreditreport.com. It won’t cost her anything but it will show when the late payments occurred, whether it was more of a one time event vs a habitual thing, when the delinquencies drop off, and how long it’s been since her last late payment.

    I have personally been through credit rebuilding twice, once for my credit and once for my wife’s. I destroyed mine when I was fairly young in part due to bad tax advice and in part due to just trying to figure out how to make it on my own. I never really made terrible decisions but also didn’t have anyone in my life who understood finances well enough to show me how to overcome the financial challenges I was faced with.

    I figured it out mostly and, when my fiancée and I found ourselves in financial trouble after losing half our income in a short period in 2011, we intentionally destroyed her credit and immediately set about the rebuilding process. I will say that the one thing I learned through both experiences is that rebuilding credit is very difficult on your own often taking 7-10 years vs 3-7 years with the help of a well qualified financial partner.

    I personally might overlook a lower credit score for someone who could clearly show a one time event and was taking steps to rebuild; however, it is important that you stick to your criteria. If you feel the need to change your criteria then do so and set an effective date for some time in the future and only apply those criteria on or after that date. If you feel like you may want to work with people like her in the future, consider making rent based on credit and income and have tiers but maintain a minimum standard.

    Not sure if I have enough information to make an informed decision for you, but I have tenants with a 530 credit score and the only reason I rented to them was the glowing reference I got from their previous landlord. They rented for 7 years before moving to my city and always paid on time... For some people the credit score doesn’t matter for small items, but when it comes to shelter, everyone “needs” shelter.

    Ben Freiman

      Hi , for all those give me advice I really appreciated .

      Here is my updated to give back to community.

      One of her previous landloard says she is filthy dirty and they have to kick her out. Her reference ask me to keep between me and her.

      So I will pass her .

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