Prospective Renter with 10 collections on Smartmove report

19 Replies

I've received 3 applications from 3 individuals who want to rent my rental house.  I got the reports from SmartMove for all 3.  2 of them looked good except one with many collections listed and Smartmove recommendation was to decline.  Any recommendation from other landlords on what to do in this case?

Keep looking! Better to have a month's vacancy than to suffer multiply months of no rent while having to deal with evictions.

I’m not 100% sure I understand the question.

If someone has a bad credit report you politely tell them that their report did not fit your criteria. If there is an error that’s their responsibility to deal with it. Then it’s just a matter of picking from the two qualified candidates.

Please find another tenant. I rented to someone with few collections and credit score in low 600s and ended up evicting him after 6 months. Stopped paying on time, bullying other roommates and neighbors and so on. I learned my lesson the hard way.

Originally posted by @Andrew Ware :

I’m not 100% sure I understand the question.

If someone has a bad credit report you politely tell them that their report did not fit your criteria. If there is an error that’s their responsibility to deal with it. Then it’s just a matter of picking from the two qualified candidates.

 Sorry, I didn’t make that clear.  All three of them wanted to rent my 3 bedroom house so that they can share the 3 rooms.  So all 3 will be on the same lease agreement.

Originally posted by @Alex T. :

Please find another tenant. I rented to someone with few collections and credit score in low 600s and ended up evicting him after 6 months. Stopped paying on time, bullying other roommates and neighbors and so on. I learned my lesson the hard way.

 So you would not rent even if the other 2 candidates in the lease are good?  Would asking for the last month rent on top of the security deposit an option?

Is this three friends wanting to share a house? Or is it a couple with an adult child or some other kind of family relationship?

Huy,

If they have good rental history and stable employment, I would consider them. I usually will ask for first, last and security. It also depends on what the collections are for; if one of them is for an apartment community, no deal...

Kim Meredith Hampton, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK0601196)

You either decline them all or make each individually responsible for the entire rent. If you do accept them make it very clear that you will only accept one rent check for the full amount each month. Never accept portions of the full rent. This way if one can not pay they are only scr**ing their friends not their landlord.

Make sure you only agree to sign a M2M lease, NO TERM LEASE.

I had a similar situation but the risk was young renters without much history.

Approaches considered...
1) agree with earlier comments for M2M and entire rent together one check which forces good “team” behavior.
2) charge a risk deposit for said individual based on past collections behavior-check maximum allowable by your locality.
3) my approach was to ensure 2 of 3 could carry expense load of apartment using rental criteria and evaluation from “TransUnion Smartmove”. Lease (12month) language that all were responsible and release of one tenant was in writing from all for approved reason and others assumed full responsibility. 2 or more departures without offering acceptable replacement(s) (same screening criteria) triggered a lease violation and right for landlord terminate, removed all tenants and retain up-to 60 days rent in order to ensure property is re-rented without impact to LL.

Andrew
SE Virginia

Andrew Miskovich

    Part of it depends on what the collection is for.  If it is a previous landlord/rental community then that should be an automatic disqualification.  We will also deny if it is utility company collections, phone bills, car repossession or something along those lines.  Typically we will overlook medical collections but then their income level and previous landlord references better be very good.

    First, last and security seems all well and good but if they know how to play the game and don't care about their credit they can trash a place and get away without paying and cost you well above the security amount.  

    Originally posted by @Amy Beth :

    Is this three friends wanting to share a house? Or is it a couple with an adult child or some other kind of family relationship?

     Yes, three friends sharing the house.

    Originally posted by @Austin Mountain :

    Part of it depends on what the collection is for.  If it is a previous landlord/rental community then that should be an automatic disqualification.  We will also deny if it is utility company collections, phone bills, car repossession or something along those lines.  Typically we will overlook medical collections but then their income level and previous landlord references better be very good.

    First, last and security seems all well and good but if they know how to play the game and don't care about their credit they can trash a place and get away without paying and cost you well above the security amount.  

     The collections are for medical, banks, jeweler and one apartment complex with very small amount (less then $100).

    Originally posted by @Kim Meredith Hampton :

    Huy,

    If they have good rental history and stable employment, I would consider them. I usually will ask for first, last and security. It also depends on what the collections are for; if one of them is for an apartment community, no deal...

     There's one for apartment in a small amount (less than $100).

    @Huy Phan if that is the case I would drop them and be patient for better applicants. 

    If the other 2 meet all of your criteria and all 3 have good stable employment, I would consider them.......if you have been getting a lot of interest in the unit, I would decline and find another. If its been pretty sparse interest over a reasonable amount of time (a couple of months) , I would probably take them with the above mentioned stipulations...one check....... if there are issues, ALL 3 get evicted...M2M lease

    Ned Jackson

      Three friends would make me nervous unless it was a college town and your rental is geared towards college students. If you do this make sure they are all equally responsible for the rent and send you one check per month. Then they will have to work it out amongst themselves if one person does not want to pay his or her share.

      Unless your house is in an undesirable area I would probably keep searching for better tenants.

      Originally posted by @Huy Phan :
      Originally posted by @Kim Meredith Hampton:

      Huy,

      If they have good rental history and stable employment, I would consider them. I usually will ask for first, last and security. It also depends on what the collections are for; if one of them is for an apartment community, no deal...

       There's one for apartment in a small amount (less than $100).

      That's probably a disagreement on some charge the apt tried to levy. 

      Thanks for all the suggestions.  Thinking about asking for 2 months worth of rent for the security deposit due to the risk.  Does this sound reasonable?

      2 month security might not be legal in your state. Have you considered a co signer or to just make the 2 other tenants jointly liable for the other?

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