The easy answer: your credit score. The real answer: it’s much more than that.
In reality, landlords look for a lot more in your tenant application and read more into your credit check than just the score.
Keep reading to learn just what those elements are, and how you can spruce your application up so you’ll never be denied again.
It’s Not Just About the Score
It’s true that almost half of landlords consider credit health when making leasing decisions, but they consider more than just the number.
Past evictions, bankruptcies, and court judgments are also considered. Car repossessions and charged off credit cards also play a huge role in leasing decisions.
The good news: if you’ve made some mistakes in the past, you don’t have to worry. As long as your current FICO score is around 600, past late payment history doesn’t matter as much.
Landlords want to see how responsible you are now, not six or seven years ago. Besides big mistakes in your credit history, they’ll likely value your most recent payment history over a high score.
The Importance of Income
Landlords will frequently ask for pay stubs or bank documents to be included in your tenant application. Why?
1. They want to see that you’ll be able to pay the rent on time, of course.
2. They’ll frequently compare your debt shown on your credit report against your income to determine your ability to make rent payments. If there’s a big difference between your income and debt, you’re likely in the clear. If it shows that you don’t have much left over after debt payments, you might be denied.
Make sure to include all income sources in your application. Even if you show that you make enough for rent, your potential landlord might go through your budget and decide that you don’t.
References are the Key to Your Tenant Application
Besides being entrepreneurial and business-minded, landlords are people, too. Once they’ve crunched the numbers and found that you’re good for rent every month, is that enough to land you your new pad?
Sometimes it’s not. Landlords want to know that you’re going to take care of their property. They want to know what kind of person you are.
That’s pretty hard to discern about a stranger without references of character.
Make sure to acquire detailed and glowing references from your prior landlords to include in your tenant application. If you’re all set with your proof of income and credit check, it’ll be the cherry on top, landing you the rental.
Tenant or Owner, We’ve Got You Covered
If you’re a prospective tenant looking for a new place, we can help. We manage properties in Inland Empire, San Gabriel Valley, and Orange County.
A quick search on our site could lead you to your next home.
We also offer property management services for existing landlords who are having a hard time handling their property.
Ready to let someone else take the reins?
Get in touch to discuss your solutions today!