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Tenant selection criteria--your examples, please?? - Landlord Forum thread 148820

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Tenant selection criteria--your examples, please?? by Paul on December 24, 2007 @14:08

Hi fellow landlords,

I need your help through posting a sample of your "tenant selection criteria" that is excerpted directly from your tenant application forms. Basically, this is the notification of what OBJECTIVE criteria will qualify/disqualify a tenant when you pull credit reports, criminal records, tenant performance reports, etc. I am sure that the criteria you more experienced landlords use has been optimized over time. I am not trying to be a sycophant, but please share your vast knowledge in what works for you to benefit all us here at LPA. The samples I have found online seem to be too subjective.



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Re: Tenant selection criteria--your examples, plea by Anonymous on December 27, 2007 @13:46 [ Reply ]
Thats a hard question. If I had a choice and could have my house vacant for 6 months out of the year, I would only take people with 650+ credit scores, good references, stable work histories, etc.

Unfortunately, if I kept those standards, my house would NEVER rent.

My short list is this:
* Absolutely NO previous Evictions (no matter what)
* Some sort of credit history (even if its not good)
* No recent repossessions, charge offs and in good standing with current creditors
* No recent bankruptcies
* No Lies on the application ( yes, I have caught a few)
* No Section 8

My standards are probably lower than most "seasoned" LLs around here, but thats what I have to deal with in my area to keep it rented. Make sure to charge an screening/application fee and state that it is NON-REFUNDABLE. Bad tenants don't want to waste money if they know you will probably reject them once you perform proper screening.

The main thing is to stay active as a LL. Use the LPA Lease as a starting point, and follow the rules to the T. Don't let them push you around or you'll be their lapdog for the entire time.

Re: Tenant selection criteria--your examples, please?? by Anonymous on December 28, 2007 @09:50 [ Reply ]
The previous poster's criteria is typical in this market at this time of year. I might add that I also screen out sexual predators, those with violent felonies, anyone with drug sales convictions (keeping in mind that possession arrests may be protected under the disabilities act as a medical condition =addiction, they need rehab), anyone with current extensive arrest records (no matter why), and those with unpaid judgements from former LLs.
Re: Tenant selection criteria--your examples, please?? by Anonymous on December 28, 2007 @21:58 [ Reply ]
Those are some great previoius replies. Here are three more criteria I use:

My application fee is $35 (very high) and nonrefundable if they lie or flunk (I don't care so much about credit scores but I won't tolerate previous evictions or violent criminal convictions). But I do refund that fee if they stay for a year and pay rent on time, etc. Mostly, the high fee keeps out the deadbeats who might try to con me but don't want to gamble the money.

Next, call the employer and verify their job and wages.

Next, call the previous landlord and hope they tell you the truth about the tenant!

Other than that it's still pretty much a crapshoot. So charge enforceable late fees, deliver 'pay or quit' notices that you are prepared to enforce promptly, and remember that most tenants seem to act like children. Be firm, honest and fair. Remember, we all want those golden tenants who stay for years, and that no one rule fits all tenants exactly.

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