What additional steps can a prospective tenant looking to rent, say an apartment, take to help solidify an offer to rent besides a good credit score?

Asked by Devin Joseph, Middletown, CT Thu Sep 1, 2011

While a decent credit score is important, I've found that having a well paying job along with job security; yes, I'm a male nurse, can truly offset having fair credit. As crazy as this may sound, and however illegal, I'd be remiss to remind those looking of the importance of a "first impression"-your first in person contact with your potential, furture landlord (often a female rental associate). Afterall, and as it has been eloquently stated on numerous occasions: "We take in into consideration more than just your financial and professional demographics!" Perhaps you would be so kind as to translate the obvious euphamistic interpretation of the aforementioned industry slogan while alluding to other "steps" one, irrespective of gender, may take. Thank you for your time and the value of your experienced answer is not without sincere appreciation,

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Dan Ross, Agent, Southington, CT
Fri Sep 2, 2011
Put yourself in the landlord's position. They have a financial investment that they don't want to be the cause of their own ruin. Your rent check, or lack thereof, is what pays their mortgage and taxes on the property. If you don't pay, it causes a hardship for them. All any landlord wants is a tennant that pays on time, and doesn't do any damage that will cost money to repair. Eviction is a costly, time consuming process that all landlords would like to avoid.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people (lay-offs, health issues, etc.), so credit score is not the only thing to base a decision on, just one of the factors. References are usually weighted very heavily. If you screwed your previous landlord, the chances are much higher that you will screw your next one.
Other than your personal appearance, consider the vehicle you drive. If you show up and fast food bags and garbage are falling out of the doors when you get out, or it looks neglected, that is an indication of how you treat your things.
Have a positivem upbeat attitude. Look yourself in the mirror and try to be somebody that you would trust your property with.
Web Reference:  http://www.danrossre.com
1 vote
Joel Grossman, Agent, Cheshire, CT
Sat Oct 29, 2011
Generally landlords must be comfortable with a prospective tenants ability to pay the rent each month for the term of the lease. A great rule of thumb is 1 month rent should equal 1 week gross salary. A landlord can only determine ones ability to pay by tenants legal source of income. If employed, a prospective tenant can have ready a verification of employment or a person in the company whom a landlord or agent can contact to verify income. If income is from social security or a trust fund or other similar type of resource the proper award letter should accompany an application. Having this inforation available should help a prospective landlord make an imformed decision.

Joel Grossman
2 votes
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Fri Sep 2, 2011
I represent a lot of landlords on rental transactions. We do a full background check, including credit report, criminal history and eviction history. The cost for such a report is only about $25. We also insist on employment verification. Another thing you could do is to get references from former landlords. And, of course, you are correct, an interview, and a good first impression, can be very helpful.
1 vote
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