I think you have to evaluate the total application including references, stability in job and prior residences and credit scores. If you see weaknesses across the board, be wary. If you see overall strength, consider the application. Only you can make a final decision after a comprehensive review.
I would say make sure they have a secure job and are able to give you the 1 1/2 months security + one month advance. Once they miss one months rent file for an evictiion immediately(it should take about 2 to 3 months to get them out!) as for the 700 credit score it doesn't mean anything if they don't have a job!
I am not interested in excuses or hard luck stories. Not in New Jersey, where the state is against landlords and against business.
As far as I am concerned, it's 700 or you don't rent my apartment. And that is very realistic. There are plenty of people who pay their bills that are looking for apartments. I would hold out and would rather keep an apartment vacant then face the incredible difficult process of evicting in a landlord-phobic state like NJ.
For me I was in an almost fatal motorcycle accident in 2008. I was unable to work for 2 years because of a broken back and 3rd degree burns. Of coarse my credit score hit rock bottom because of my unability to pay bills. Now in 2011 I have been paying all my old debts and am never late on ANY payment. My credit score is only 547. I currently have 2 jobs; a public school administrator during the day and a college supervisor during the night. Am I UNWORTHY to you Mr. Paolella? My household income is $130,000 but my score is below your 700 mark. According to you, where should I live? In a storm-drain? A cardboard box? Huh? Things happen Mr.Paolella, it doesnt mean we are not trustworthy. I Sir, do not believe you are trustworthy, not being able to spark and ounce of hope or trust in our American people who fall below the dreaded 700 making generalizations upon peoples lives from occurances you know nothing about.
Your concern is the consistency and timing of payment - as others have pointed out they may well be a good renter that has had a bad break - your job is to do your due diligence to get your arms around it best as you can. This is important work to do up front, because the law favors tenants, once they are in, as others have pointed out, it can be tough - and time consuming - to get them out.
Good luck to you,
It really depends on the individual tenants. There are lots and lots of possibilities. I would suggest that as long as the Tenants appear to keep your house clean and pay you on time (at least and until they have their jobs), you should be okay.
Besides, One thing which all landlord should understand is that there are four types of tenants who would be looking for an individual home to rent other than the rental apartments:
Ones with pets
Ones with low credit score
Ones who wants to sign Month to Month lease
Ones who needs bigger space to rent
If they had excellent credit , they might as well rent the Rental Apartments.
Low credit score does not mean Bad Tenants. These are some risks you take when you rent.
Call me for more discussions.
There are no stable jobs right now, everything is up in the air. Checking employment is not enough. The poster should protect herself to the best of her ability. Insisting on a 700 plus FICO is one way to do that.
I would want:
1. 700 FICO scores for everyone on the lease.
2. 3 year stable job history for everyone on the lease.
3. Satisfactory references from past landlords.
Period. Over and out.
This is business, not charity. The laws in this state already unfairly penalize landlords and favor tenants who default on their rent.
While a 700 FICO is not a guarantee, it IS A VALID INDICATOR, and the best statistic available to make an informed determination.
Swapna, do not deel bad about being tough on potential tenants. If they get in and they are not qualified, believe me, they will make it tough on you when you try to evict them in this state.
I was just thinking, instead of long or even moderate term leases, I might go with a revolving 3 month lease with options to renew cancellable by either party with 30 days written notice. Not sure if that would pass legal muster, but I'd look into it.
Amateur landlords cannot do enough to protect themselves at the moment.
I would say be patient. You should be able to find better tenants. It is better to wait for them than to have to evict bad tenants for non paymentof rent.
By the way, if you don't already have it, get a copy of "truth in renting" Being a NJ landlord is complicated by knowing the landlord/tenant rules. The state favors the rights of the tenants in most circumstances. You can contact me via Trulia or my website, if you need a copy.
No. Find another couple / Tenant.
If you have the credit report, see how many times and how late the bills are. Really late? then guess what.. When rent time comes.. late.. and then really late.. then frustration. But if you feel that you need to provide a serivice and just want to get it rented.. go ahead.
As Realtor, I also take rentals ( landlord pays commission ) I list them and due to my networking.. I have all kinds of people ask me to help them rent apartments and homes.. I only get my clients tenants with 700 or better and jobs. Sorry, if it sounds bad, but my client's business interests come first. I have techniques that find great tenants. And no, I am not sharing how I get my tenants.... :)
Also, a professional landlord/investor can afford to take a risk on someone with a lower than average score. Because he has the resources to deal with a bad tenant experience should it occur.
However, on the other hand, if you are renting your only house, and you are not in the business of dealing with tenant problems on a day-to-day basis, then I would require 700 FICO scores period. It's not a difficult decision. There are plenty of tenants who have this kind of score.
I would not pay attention to anecdotal presentations of low FICO people paying on time and high FICO people trashing the property. Yes there are occasional exceptions when you are dealing with human beings. But FICO scores are the most reliable method known of assessing the odds of getting the rent on time.
By the way, a stable job history is not a great indicator of a person's payment habits. Many people who hold jobs don't pay the bills on time. A low FICO score will reveal that type of person.
Requiring a high score will not eliminate the risk. But it will minimize it. Most people with FICO's in excess of 700 CARE about their credit score and make sure they pay their bills on time.
It is a difficult task making a decision on accepting a tenant or not, I agree. I have rented to tenants with excellent credit, but they were literally slobs and did not take good care of the premises and rented to people with low scores that improved the place. It is alwasy a risk. Regarding credit scores, as previously mentioned look at the report, see if they pay on time, the score could be low because of debt ratio to credit limit, there could be a short period of time they got behind due to illness or another reasonable explanation and are up to date on things now. Call and.question the last two landlords if possible, the most recent may give you a good report to get rid of them as tenants. You stated "fairly stabe" call to verify employment to see how long they are employed. Good luck!
I would absolutely not rent out a house to a couple with those credit scores. 635 is not all that good to begin with. 510 is someone who habitually fails to pay their bills.
Credit scores are very reliable indicators of ability and propensity to pay bills on time. I wouldn't try to look past them or into them or try to justify them. They are what they are.
I would want a minimum of 700 for both parties before I would rent out a house to them. You only get to make this decision once. You don't want to blow it.
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