Accepting a tenant???

14 Replies

Hello,

I have a potential tenant. She has a good job, she is willing to put in a larger security deposit, very friendly. Her credit score is 599. My rental is a former Airbnb so I am renting it out fully furnished.

I was hoping for a 650 or better credit score. She has one item that is delinquent and has been very communicative with her situation (newly divorced). What do you guys think. I feel like renters are going to have a less than stellar credit score but is 599 unacceptable.

Brian

@Brian Mackey I don't think that the credit score should be the most important indicator, especially if she's been able to give you a decent explanation of her low score. If you're considering her as a tenant, I suggest that you also look into her current income and her length of employment. Cross check with all her references as well. If you're still uncertain, you can ask for a co-signer.

Credit score is just one factor, and it's not always a true factor. 600 is pretty low, but the bigger question is: why is it so low? Does she have collections or judgments? Poor payment performance? Medical debt or student loans? I would need to know more before automatically denying someone for credit score.

I've rented to people with scores under 550 and they've been really good renters. But I don't judge a person solely on credit. I also look at previous Landlord references, rent:income ratios, longevity in their current job or career, longevity in their last rental, a review of social media, and more. Some people really, really suck at handling money but they always pay rent on time and always take care of their home. You just have to figure out how to determine that.

@Brian Mackey recent divorce perfectly plausible and potentially overlookable. Does she have available credit? One of the issues with a low credit score is that people are operating without the margin of safety having credit provides. They are a car repair away from being in cash flow trouble through no fault of their own

@Brian Mackey . I don't think 600 is that low. Most of my applicants lately have been between 575-625, for various reasons. If you want credit scores much higher, you're probably looking at people that are buying homes. But like everybody else said, the reasons, income, employment are some things to look at. 

@Nathan G. . I love that you added "a review of their social media". I have flat out refused to contact people back based upon their social media. If I advertise on Facebook, and you contact me through messenger, feel free to clean up some of your Facebook posts ahead of time. "F the Police" is not an appealing message to see for a potential tenant. 

Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

@Nathan G.. I love that you added "a review of their social media". I have flat out refused to contact people back based upon their social media. If I advertise on Facebook, and you contact me through messenger, feel free to clean up some of your Facebook posts ahead of time. "F the Police" is not an appealing message to see for a potential tenant. 

It works well for employees, too. I had one recently claim to be on a "doctor ordered" quarantine for ten days. I found out she was camping and paddle boarding with her pals right in the middle of it.

 

@Anthony Wick FB has been my friend MANY times while vetting a prospect. It amazes me what you can learn. One profile pic was a guy holding drugs and alcohol when we discussed my place was not a party scene. What about people who say they have no pets but their profile pic shows them with 3 pit bulls and says “dog mama”. These are real from just months ago. Also, FB rental posts to date have NEVER found me a qualified tenant, and don’t know why.

@Todd Powell . Interesting about zero qualified candidates through Facebook for you. I've found a few. I get the most inquiries through Facebook. But yes, the most non-qualified as well. I'll take a good old Zillow inquiry all day, every day. Most of those are qualified applicants. I have also stopped advertising on Craigslist. And Apartments.com has never once sent me an inquiry from anybody. 

Thanks everyone for the support.  I decided to move on from the tenant.  She was super persistent but I resisted.  Could've been a great tenant, could have been a disaster.  Decided to stick to my criteria.