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?

For all available properties, visit our website at

We hope you learned a bit more about tenant screening and applications. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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Hey guys, this is Mariah with Good Life Property Management and today I’m here to talk to you about our tenant and applicant screening process. We get a lot of questions regarding our application process and what makes a qualified tenant. So today I’m here to answer those questions for you. We’ll verify your income to make sure you make our 2.5 times the rent to income ratio. Basically what this means is all applicants must make at least 2.5 times the rent as a household to be approved. So this can vary between property management companies. Sometimes they can charge up to 3 times the rent, 1.5 times the rent. It really just depends. So the first thing we screen for is credit. Typically a score over 700 is considered good credit. However, if you fall below 700 or don’t have any credit at all, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be automatically denied. So the second thing we screen for is your rental history. This is just to make sure that you are a good past tenant, don’t have any past dues, owed to any previous landlords, and don’t have any past evictions. And lastly we check for your criminal history. This is to check if you have any past convictions or felonies. So some things that may get you automatically denied is a negative reference from a previous landlord. Any previous past dues to a previous landlord or any past evictions. If your prior conviction interferes with any tendency, obligations are posted as a threat to any other residents or neighbors, you may be denied. Additionally, if you have a restricted pet such as Husky, Pitbull, or Bulldog, you may be denied as well. So unfortunately we don’t accept any additional deposits. This is a violation of the fair housing laws and is unfair to people who cannot afford to put money up front in order to secure. So we have to pay for the rental property in order to be a good place. For additional information about our available properties, you can visit us at slash properties. I hope to learn a little bit more about how property management companies screen their applicants. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and don’t forget to like and subscribe.