What's the best way to present yourself to prospective landlords when you only have your character & proof you pay on time to offer?

Asked by Coco, Encino, CA Wed Aug 24, 2011

My last 10-yrs are filled with legal battles, resulting from attorney malpractice with disbarment which caused me the loss of all things positive a creditor wants to see to accept me as a new renter. Honesty is great, but it seems only those who have walked in my shoes seem to understand which is far and few between. -signed, hopeless

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Jessica Acker, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Hi Coco,

I suggest writing a cover letter with an introduction about who you are, why you love the rental you are applying for, and an explanation of any negative credit marks. You should get a letter of recommendation from your current landlord to show your rental record of paying on time.

Many times people with poor credit will have a local friend or family member act as their guarantor. It makes me feel more comfortable because I make sure the guarantor has ample income and good credit. You can always offer to pay a double security deposit or pay a few additional months of rent in advance as well.


Jessica M. Acker
Wellman Realty Company
1415 Stanford St., Suite #4
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Direct (310) 828-3132
DRE License # 01894323
1 vote
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Get as many references as you can(Employer, past LL's, Character references). With that, A good Agent that is resourceful should get it done. Also, the possibility exists that you may have to pay additional security. Best of Luck
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Aug 25, 2011
You shoul find an agent who works with tenants and can assist you in putting together a resume of teh positiove credentials and apply to landlords that are open to it
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Scott Mason, Agent, Lecanto, FL
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Character and proof you pay on time are two of the three most important things a landlord or property manager likes to see. The other is that you take good care of the property. Your task will be proving these things to the prospective landlord/property manager. When I am qualifying a new tenant I do not necessarily decide on credit score. If a prospective tenant has a bad score I ask why and take that into consideration. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. If you can prove you pay your rent on time, get some character references such as from your current landlord it will go a long way. Invite the landlord over to your home to see what kind of condition you keep your residence in can be impressive. Just remember a property manager has learned to be skeptical, they have been burnt too many times to take a story at its face value, so you need to prove it.
0 votes
Trudy Vierra, , Contra Costa County, CA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
CoCo Can you show a copy of the last 2 months of your bank statements, credit report and last 2 pay stubs.I have my own property management company and because we are in dificult times we try to work with everyons situtation. I agree with the other answers you have gotten. Be upfont and honest and you will find a landlord who is interested in the quality of a tenant and the ability to pay on time each month and will maintain the rental unit.

Best of luck
Vierra Property Management
0 votes
BOB Khalsa, Agent, Newhall, CA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Hello Coco:

Do not lose heart. If you can show that you have always paid on time there will be landlords who will lease to you. Just be straightforward with them and do not hide anything.

As an owner of a property management company I have encountered all kinds of credit histories and can empathize with you. Give me a call if you are still having difficulty in leasing.

Bob Khalsa
U.A. Property Management
0 votes
Jodie Franci…, Agent, Studio City, CA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Hi Coco,

A lot of people are having a tough time right now because their credit scores have gotten dinged. If you could offer the landlord 6 months rent in advance or more, (which I know is a lot of cash to come up with), that could help you in your situation. You might also want to try to get letters from other creditors that might not report to the credit bureaus...like the gas or DWP or cable etc...

Also, please be careful, as there are owners out there that might take you on as a tenant but they might be in financial distress. Have someone check to see if they are current on their mortgage or if there is a notice of default or notice of trustee's sale on the property. And also be careful if you are looking on Craig's list...many a scam have been found there.

Best of luck to you Coco...
0 votes
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