Tenants with no rental history

8 Replies

I am new to this so please forgive me if this was discussed elsewhere but I searched and could not find anything. I have two duplex's right next to each other and for the last year and a half, the tenants have all been amazing. A tenant just moved out and I am looking for a new tenant. I was wondering what people's opinions were about renting to young people with no rental history. I have two young girls that would like to rent. I have not gotten their applications back yet but I literally just met them at the property. One girl works at a restaurant, and the other is working part time and going to school part time (and pregnant). The girl going to school receives social security checks since her mom died when she was younger. My wife thinks they will be great as long as their income and jobs check out. I am a little nervous because they both currently live with family and on top of that, the last thing I need is a couple young party girls coming in and upsetting all the other great tenants. I know this may be a little premature since I have not even gotten their applications back yet but I was wondering what people thought. Thanks!

Walk away.

If you want a little more assurance ask if they have any family members who would be willing to be guarantor on the lease. Also run a credit report, verify employment and ask for bank statements.

Lastly, if you like what you see on all their documents, lay down the ground rules for renting your unit; what they can and can't do. But make sure you're operating with in the boundaries of the law when setting up your rules.

Look at the numbers and make sure they can afford it. It sounds great to say they want to move out from family into a house, but thats $x a month they aren't having to pay right now.

If someone is use to paying $950 a month in an apartment with no water bill, etc,,and they want to move into a $1200 house with a water bill and the other extras that come with living in a home, I sit down and talk to them and ask them to make sure they really want to 'bite off that much",,,that's after they have passed the 3x income requirement.

I would say make sure they make at least 3 times the rent in take home pay. Also make sure they know that they are stuck together once they sign the lease. Often times young roommates love moving in with their best friends and then can't stand it 2 months later. Let them know they will be responsible regardless.

Also I wouldn't let them move in without a co-signer. And make sure that co-signer qualifies for your normal rental standards as well if not better (we do 4 times rent for a co-signer.)

I love the idea of four times rent instead of three! Good idea! Have a parent or family member co sign. I would even say check the other girls report card grades. Grades are a decent indicator of how responsible the girl is. Good luck!

Agree with others - I would consider it but would require a co-signer. I have such a situation in one of my properties and this couple has turned out to be my best tenants. Pay like a clockwork and keep the place in immaculate condition (verified by my maintenance guy who regularly changes HVAC filets in all my units). So much so that I'm seriously considering sending them a "best tenant" gift card to re-enforce their positive behavior.

Wow thanks for all of the great info and tips! I really appreciate it! I have since decided not to rent to these two girls. It just seemed like to high of a risk and I had so many good applicants it was not worth it. I have the unit rented now to a young woman who bar tends at a local restaurant and has a 5 year old daughter. Her husband died in Afghanistan and she needed a good place to raise her daughter. I think she will be a great tenant!

Originally posted by @Andy DeFruscio :
Wow thanks for all of the great info and tips! I really appreciate it! I have since decided not to rent to these two girls. It just seemed like to high of a risk and I had so many good applicants it was not worth it. I have the unit rented now to a young woman who bar tends at a local restaurant and has a 5 year old daughter. Her husband died in Afghanistan and she needed a good place to raise her daughter. I think she will be a great tenant!

Though to argue with THAT choice, Andy! Those two deserve the chance for sure - treat them well!

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