Pasted together incomes from five people?

4 Replies

I was screening possible tenants in Nevada for a house, and I got a call from a group who all had very low income and loose-ties.

A woman and her 2-month boyfriend, plus three other friends whom they didn't know super well.
The group didn't meet my minimum income criteria unless ALL of them pasted together their incomes.

Because of the loose ties, and barely meeting the income criteria, I felt a bit worried if 1-2 people move out (1 friend, or 2 people because boy/girlfriend), because the remaining folks may not be able to pay the rent. (In my case, none of them met the credit criteria so I was OK rejecting on basis of credit - But if this wasn't the case, I'm not sure how to properly handle such situations?).

How do you folks on the forum normally handle these situations?

Do you put a limit on number of [tenants // lease signers // qualifiers] who can be pasted together to meet your minimum income criteria?
Do you ramp up your income criteria based on number of signers? (E.g. 3x income/rent ratio for 1 person, 4x income/rent ratio for 2 people, so forth?)
Have you never seen this before?

Anyways, I'm pretty new to this. Hoping to get some advice from all the great sages who lurk this forum :)

I would be wary of putting that many people in one property, but it depends on the unit size. I think you can limit the number of adults in one property as part of your criteria (verify for your state).

It's a red flag for me to need that many people to make your minimum income/rent requirement.

Make sure you are familiar with the fair housing rules and you apply your criteria the same way for any applicants to your properties.

Five unrelated adults, none of whom meet the income qualifications? No way. I'd keep looking, there's someone else out there that's a better fit.

The home is a 4 bedroom, so I think the number of adults would be legal within the home. I agree with all of you, this gave me the feeling I should "run away"! Certainly, because I don't want to evict someone who can't pay, because their "room-mates" moved out 3-months into the terms of the lease.

If I go by first-come first-serve, where the first qualified applicant gets the property, I'm afraid such a 5-person situation could occur next time I need to find tenants.

Is it possible to pick the cream of the crop? Wait for a period of time, then pick the top income-qualified tenant? Is this allowed practice for tenant screening, or do you always have to give it to the first "income-qualified" group of 5?