The Trustworthiness Of Prospective Tenants

The Trustworthiness Of Prospective Tenants

A few days ago I stumbled upon this article in the NY Times and it got me thinking about the different ways some of my clients (and myself) pick the best possible tenants to rent apartments to in the Glendale area.

The article obviously talks about how credit reporting agencies are essentially changing the substance of their reports to better identify low-risk and trustworthy consumers. Now, a person’s rent payments, bounced checks, broken leases and such will have an impact on their credit score.

Why should an apartment owner care?

With the onslaught of foreclosures and bankruptcies that took place over the last couple of years, many former homeowners are left with damaged credit. Most of them were forced to rent somewhere, but had to get “creative” with signing a lease because most landlords won’t accept someone with the amount of debt they have. The changes being made to credit reports now will help landlords identify the good tenants from the bad tenants without wasting much time.

For example, a young lady I recently showed an apartment unit of ours to in Glendale, CA had absolutely terrible credit stacked with delinquent accounts, huge debt and so on. She also mentioned that she’d be breaking out of her lease to rent the unit because her job simply wouldn’t cover her rent there. On the flip side, I had an older gentlemen who had just been foreclosed on and suffered through a tough divorce from his wife of 30 years. His credit score was also butchered, but it was because of his foreclosure and bankruptcy. He had the same decent job for the last 10 years and was making more than enough to cover rent. So, who’s the obvious winner?

We’re going to be dealing with “bad credit tenants” for years to come because of the financial situation. That just means we’ll have to find the honest and trustworthy ones to work with in order to keep our investments in the green.

What other leasing challenges have you faced as an apartment owner/manager?