Asked & Answered: How We Screen Tenants
We answer your questions about the application process and how property management companies screen potential tenants.
Here at Good Life, we get questions daily about what makes a good applicant and how they can better their chances of getting approved. Every property management company (or landlord) is different, but they typically screen for the same things.
Today we’re going to answer your most-asked questions about the application process and what it takes to get approved.
1. What is your income requirement?
At Good Life, we require that the household, or all combined applicant’s, income is at least 2.5x the monthly rent. This can vary between management companies. Some might charge 2x the rent, 3x, etc. They might have a higher requirement for cosigners, too.
2. What do you screen for?
The first thing we screen for is your credit score. Most people consider a good FICO score to be over 700. However, having a credit score below 700, or having no credit at all, is not always means for disqualification.
We also check you previous rental references. We’re looking to see if you were a good tenant at your previous residences and if you had any late rent payments.
We do a criminal background check. We do this to see if you have any felonies or misdemeanors on your record. Don’t worry, a criminal record does not mean you will be immediately disqualified.
Additionally, Good Life obtains a report from the credit agency that gathers information from landlords and property management companies on tenants who have an outstanding balance.
3. What would get me automatically disqualified?
Common disqualifications include negative landlord references, including past due payments or anything in collections. Certain convictions that affect the applicant’s ability to meet the tenancy obligations or present a direct threat to the safety of other residents may be denied.
Past evictions are also a automatic denial as well as lying on your application.
4. My main source of income is tips, how do I provide proof of income?
Many property managers will only accept proof of income that is both legal and verifiable. If you are receiving cash tips, they should be claimed on either your pay stub or tax returns.
If you are not claiming the cash tips, we cannot accept it as proof of income.
5. If I pay _ months rent in advance, will I be considered over other applicants?
Unfortunately, we, as well as most other property management companies, cannot accept any additional deposit as part of an application. This violates fair housing laws and gives an unfair advantage over those that cannot pay a large sum up front.
6. Is the property still available?
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