Looking at employment time for moving tenants

5 Replies

One of my requirements on a rental I have listed is 1 year of employment in current job. I have a couple potential applicants who are moving to the area and reached out about my property. My question for those with similar requirements is how do you treat a change in job that occurs during or will occur as a direct result of a tenant signing a lease for your property? I feel like this would be a disqualifier since they would effectively have 0 months in their current job at time of taking possession of my property. Am I wrong in how I am looking at it? What are the risks of taking on a transitioning tenant in your opinion?

Hi @Jeshua Patrick,

If its your rental criteria and how you've screened everyone in the past, you should stick to it. However, to me at least, I'm not sure its very relevant for their ability to pay the rent. I've had many tenants rent from us when they were relocating for a job, prior to them purchasing their own house. I've found credit scores and three times the rent in income to be far better indicators of their ability to pay. Additionally, you could also look at it like lenders do, and make sure they've maintained employment in the same field for a given period of time without gaps. 

-Christopher

@Christopher Brainard this is my first rental so I’m literally learning something with every new potential applicant. Thanks for the input.

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@Jeshua Patrick,

I agree with @Christopher Brainard.  There are better criteria methods than 1-year in the job.  Consider these:

  • Previous job durations: Are they habitual 1-year job movers or do they typically stay for 5-8 years?
  • Debt:Income:  How are their spending habitats compared to income?
  • Rent:Income:  Confirm they can actually afford your rent.
  • Proof of income:  Provide their last 3 months of pay stubs to prove what they make.  3 months helps to remove any skewness from seasonal bumps in pay.  Not uncommon for bartenders to work more and earn more tips in prime season.
  • Proof of funds:  By checking their bank accounts you can see their spending habits as well as income.  It's an opportunity to understand more about the tenants.  This can also help offset any other area that they did not meet your criteria: 1-year job.

Real estate is very local and only you know the type of tenants your units attract.  My units attract young professionals so I am not worried about 1-year jobs as much as I am proof of income.

@Jeshua Patrick I think if they check your other boxes, the 1-year requirement is still met if they are in their current job for 1 year... even though they will be leaving it. It shows that they have a (reasonably) consistent job and will hopefully have a good one there too.

I would not disqualify someone because they are just moving to the area. What is their job history like where they came from? Where are they working now? People relocate to new cities all the time. I would put more stock in their credit report and background check. Good luck!