Rental Standards

8 Replies

I am trying to create an applicant/renter guideline for my rental property. I would like something that spells out the expectations for any applicant and tells the applicant a criminal, employment, and credit check are required. Does anyone know where I can find samples of this or what I should make sure I include in it? 

Go to Resources above left of search box.  Dig through File Place..  guess most likely will find sojmething there.

Here's an excerpt of the article i wrote on this subject.

As a “Fool Me Once, its on you, Fool Me Twice its on me” Landlord, these are my HARD and Fast rules. Even if I have gotten a bite out of my tush, not giving in has saved me :)

  1. Tenants Must Have 3x Rent – When looking at pay stubs you are already looking at gross not net pay. At 3x rent you are talking about 33% of gross income so net can be as high as 50%. Fair Housing Laws require that you to stick to your rules so you don’t discriminate. So do yourself a favor, don’t “slide” on this requirement. The sad story won’t pay you back in lost rent and eviction fees if you have to evict your tenants.
  2. First Come First Served with the ENTIRE Application Submitted. No if’s, and’s, but’s or excuses- After doing over 15 rental installs I have never had a serious tenant not be able to submit an application no matter the reason.
  3. CHECK Orders if Military- I pick lease lengths for both personal reasons (deployments, vacations, etc.) and for business reasons(market season, other turns), so when leases come up out of cycle it is annoying. As both a landlord AND a military member I understand the unique challenges as well as the Soldier Sailor Act. This is a business. Therefore I require all lease terms to match length of orders and the lease terms must also meet my needs.
  4. No Deposit without a Signed Lease OR VICE VERSA- Your deposit is your “skin in the game”. Your lease is the “TERMS” with your skin in the game. Therefore it is IMPERATIVE that you do not accept money without a lease. Only accept the two TOGETHER.
  5. No Keys without a check in HAND or funds already DEPOSITED- Move in can be tense. In my experience no matter HOW meticulous you are getting the house ready your tenants will always have comments. The last thing you want is to also be bringing up the fact you have not received your rent. It adds fuel to the fire.

As a wiser but still learning landlord,my goal is not to PREVENT you from enjoying all the learning experiences that landlording has or will offer. My goal is to save your stress and skin on mistakes that I have made- allowing you the opportunity for unique learning experiences.

@Carey Edmund   I would recommend to go to Resources, FilePlace, Other Documents and download Rental Criteria by Marcia Maynard.  You can use it as a guideline and make changes to it as I did.  It is a great place to start!

@Elizabeth Colegrove Thank you for the information. Do you put it in a letter that you hand to your applicants or do you post your requirements online and refer them to that

@Carey Edmund  

It depends, I have made a cute little "sheet" with the requirements. Other times I haven't. All depending on my times and what I "feel" like doing.

I will share my spreadsheet with anyone who messages me their e-mail address.  I don't share the spreadsheet or results with tenants.  What I give the applicant is pretty vague.  Check your local laws; if you take an application fee you may be required to spell it out more.  I don't charge and I feel that the more info I give them the more it will influence responses, so this is what I use on page 1 of the application:

Our Criteria:

We do not deny housing for race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation, marital status, or familial status.

We do deny housing to individuals:

  • when the application is not complete or accurate
  • where there is no sufficient income/resources to pay rent and live
  • where there is poor prior tenancy: evictions, violations, damage to rental property, poorly handled move outs, amounts are still owing to landlords or utilities.

Criminal activity is at our discretion depending on severity, number of convictions, and how long ago.

Our Philosophy:

We strive to provide affordable, clean, and safe housing, be fair with repairs, and improve the Highlands neighborhood. We respect our tenant’s privacy, and expect tenants to respect the property, neighborhood, and all rules of the rental agreement.

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