There are never any “minimum standards” for renting a property.
Deciding who will become a tenant is a bit of an art. There are 3 things property managers look at so it’s a good idea to collect information before you drive around in the heat. Property managers weigh these things differently and each property also has some exceptions and rules. Unfortunately, property managers are not going to give you these rules in advance but you can save yourself a lot of money if you provide those three things to the property manager before you visit. Most managers will give you a “pre-approval contingent on application” if you give this information in advance. They don’t want to drive around in the heat either.
Credit History – Good or bad credit history is relative. Don’t make it a mystery. Pull your own credit at Creditkarma.com and take a screen shot of it. Most managers have a threshold of about 650. Anything less than 650 will probably require you to have strong rental history and/or strong income history. ALSO: Many property managers ignore medical or educational delinquencies.
Income History – First of all, you (or your family) need to gross more than 3 times the rent. If the rent is $1000 for example, the combined pay stubs need to show more than $3000. The length at your job plays a huge factor in a property manager’s decision. If you have had a job for more than 5 years in Las Vegas, you are a rock star. If you have had your job for less than a year or you are just moving, your credit history and rent history needs to be amazing. Gather your last 3 pay stubs and/or your bank statements.
Rental History – If you are currently living with relatives and/or do not have any rental history, your income history and credit history need to be very strong. If you were a room mate and paid rent, you will need to prove it. Circle that rent payment in your bank account. If you have been paying rent on time for more than a year, you are a rock star but you need to prove it!! Here are 4 ways you can prove you paid rent on time:
- Landlord Rent Verification – Download this page, sign it and have your landlord fill it out.
- Landlord Testimonial – Have your landlord write up a nice letter on how awesome you are. Make sure the letter is signed and has contact information. Property managers will be making sure you just didn’t make it up.
- Management Payment Records – Most companies these days have a portal you can log into that shows all your transactions and payments. Some managers will take this at face value.
- Bank Records – Most companies these days have a portal you can log into that shows all your transactions and payments. Some managers will take this at face value.
Package Yourself Up
Gather those 3 things and put a cover letter to your package. “My wife, 2 kids and a Chihuahua are moving because the owner is selling the property. I make $3500 per month as a car lot attendant and my wife makes $2800 per month washing eggs. Attached you will find a snapshot of my credit score (610), my wife’s credit score (650), all of our pay stubs and a letter from my property management company. I got a DUI 7 years ago but we have no eviction history. Please take a look at that and let me know if you would consider renting to us.”
Just spell out the facts. Property managers are going to find out all that anyway so just lay it on the table. No one wants to hear your country western song. Leave out all those hardships and why your credit is in the toilet. The fact that you even have a package puts you in front of the line.
Send Emails To Prospective Managers or Owners
Property managers or owners will tell you straight up if they are going to consider you. Applications can run up to $100 per person per property. Do you really want to spend $600 running around in the heat looking at properties you are not qualified for? After you get a few blessings, go out and meet them in your best form. Show up on time, with your car clean and bring a smile. Bring your package with you so they know who you are.
TIP: There are some exceptions to these rules. For example, if you have a lot of money in the bank. That trumps bad credit or bad income history. Be prepared to show you have a zillion dollars in the bank.