Screening tenants: Renting by the Room

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I am renting my place out by the room, month to month. How low of a credit score should I accept? If the score is low and the person is young w student loans, are there other steps I can or should take to verify that this person would be a good renter?

Consider having their parents sign your lease. If there is any problem, you can call them. A credit card and automatic payment is a good idea. Sell them on the safety of their child, providing you are offering that. In most states you will have more say as to kicking them out if you are living there too. Payment is in your bank by the 1st or they can’t stay.

Before I switched all my monthly rentals to furnished STRs, I had a rental application sheet.  It basically asked their name, address, landlord, employer, phone numbers and most importantly....the most recent electric or gas bill.  If they are behind in their utility bill, they are going to be behind in their rent.  

They can also scam people by putting the gas in one persons name and electric in anothers.  They default and move, they switch the name for the utilities so that they both have a clean record with the new service.  They get room mates so that when they default they can move to a 3rd and 4th place and repeat the process.  When they run out of places to stay, they move to another municipality to start over with a clean slate.

Every now and then you will run into someone that can track anyone across the country that uses utilities.  He found some deadbeat tenants of his that moved from Kansas to Tennessee.  The guy was a freelance engineer that did work for a utility company.  He made a phone call and found out where his previous tenants skipped out to.  He got his back rent in about 10 days, the threat of incarceration helped.