Why Rent vs. Buy?
July 23, 2020
Qualifying Competitive Rental Rates
September 15, 2020

If you are considering a move to a new area, you will likely need to find an annual rental as your new home.  If so, make sure you know the prequalification issues that will determine your capacity to lease the home of your choice.  In most cases, Landlords look most favorably at Tenant applicants with a good credit history, clean background check, clean eviction history, stable employment, sufficient income, and positive landlord and employer references.  Having excellent ratings on all these items provides you with a high level of assurance that your application will gain a favorable consideration for approval.

When you apply for an annual rental property, ensure you make sufficient income to afford your monthly rent.  Typically, you need five times the rent amount in net pay to establish affordability.  Having sufficient and regularly occurring income helps you avoid running short in the ability to pay your rent on time.  Not paying on time leads to late fees, NSF (non-sufficient fund) fees or ultimately an eviction because you were unable to pay the rent. 

A healthy credit history demonstrates that you pay all your bills promptly and make it easier for a Landlord to acknowledge that you will pay the rent on time; therefore, they are motivated to approve your rental application.  A typical credit report shows all your loans and credit card balances.  If your debt to income ratio is too high, you could be denied because it indicates that you could struggle with timely rent payments. Your credit history can show numerous missed payments or collections, causing you to be denied for a lease.  Most property management companies have a minimum credit score that they require from their applicants, so ask this question early in the property search process.

If you have had an eviction, this creates some severe challenges to a new lease approval!  Being evicted indicates that rent was not paid on time, was uncollected.  It could also mean an unwillingness to abide by basic conduct standards or not maintaining a property properly.  Regardless of the cause, an eviction in your recent past is a difficult problem for a Landlord to overlook.  Avoid this issue as much as possible to avoid expensive incentive deposits that may be necessary to give the Landlord a reasonable comfort level to consider you as a tenancy.

Any arrest or criminal conviction will also add to the difficulty of gaining a lease approval.  The last thing a Landlord wants is to deal with a person they fear will act unlawfully.  The incident may be in the past, but wrong conduct is a barometer to possible future behavior problems.  They will avoid this type of conflict at all costs.  If you have these issues in your past, you will need to demonstrate a clear history for 2-3 years and a team of respected advocates who will vouch for your present lifestyle of managing your life correctly.

Consistent and longstanding employment is an essential item for property managers and owners reviewing a lease applicant.  It demonstrates the ability to conform to standards and work with other people effectively.

As you can see, a Tenant application is somewhat like a personal profile snapshot.  It provides a Landlord or Property Manager with the necessary but critical information to trust you with a highly valuable asset for which they are ultimately responsible.  Demonstrating you are accountable, stable, and mature in your personal business affairs is the key to securing your next lease on the home of your desires.  Happy home search!