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NJDAVE70

Registered: 03/23/11
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #1 

I have a prospective tenant that was upfront with me and let me know she has bad credit.  She claimed her credit was destroyed by her ex-husband during their divorce.  She seems like a nice person and I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, but also want to protect myself.  She did claim to have landlord references from pervious rentals, but I haven’t seen them yet.  I plan on using the service http://www.e-renter.com to screen her and another applicant.  One thing that kind of raised a red flag with me was that she asked if she could pay less for a security deposit.  I found it kind of odd that she would think she could bargain with the security deposit when she admits to having horrible credit.  A lot of posts and other information online I’ve come across state it’s usually normal pay a slightly higher security deposit to compensate for bad credit.

 

I know divorce can be a horrible and expensive situation, but I also know several people that are divorced and they are still financially stable with good credit.  Also since this service will not give me the details of her credit report, I have no way to verify what caused her bad credit.

 

I just wanted a point of view from other experienced landlords.  I am very new to this and only own one rental property, so don’t have any experience with this.

connmom

Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #2 
It's so hard to say.  I am a new landlord with only one rental property, a three family home, which I inherited as part of my divorce settlement.

My credit score was okay, not great, after my divorce.  I got very little support from my ex and had to live on an Amex card.  I maxed it out, and ended up settling for about half of what I owed.  I was trying to repair my credit and up my score and thought I was doing okay, until a mortgage banker pulled my report and informed me that my ex had fallen behind on the mortgage payments on our former marital home, which he still occupies.  I had completely forgotten that 15 years earlier, when we were still married, I had co signed a mortgage.  He is a CPA and estate planner, so like many wives I let him handle all the money.  Now my credit score has taken a hit over his failure to keep up with the mortgage.  He has since become current with the payments, but I can't get a loan or refi to save my life. 

I have alimony, child support, rental income and have a IRA that I have tapped into to meet my expenses (for reasons too lengthy to explain, I currently rent a two bedroom apt with my youngest kid in an apartment complex in an urban area).  When I applied for the apartment, I was upfront and told the landlord that my credit score had taken a hit from the divorce, but that I could prove that I had enough money to pay the rent.  She was very understanding and gave me the benefit of the doubt (she also had plenty of vacancies, too). 

My ex was a landlord for 24 years.  During that time I only recall one tenant who stopped paying rent and had to be evicted, and she was a professional in IT who was making a very good salary.  Unfortunately, she was also a complete fraud who knew the Connecticut tenant law inside-out and knew just how to work the system so that she ended up paying less than two month's rent but it took us another three months to evict her (our state housing court  is notoriously pro tenant).  That incident really opened our eyes. 

Proof of income and a good credit score don't guarantee that you aren't dealing with a sociopath.

Hope I haven't confused you even more.

__________________
newbie landlord
Kristin

Registered: 01/03/12
Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #3 
After my mom finished going through her divorce her credit was completely ruined thanks to my dad. It took her years to get it back up. I would look over the references and see if you can find a pay history. I know some sites such things I know http://www.tenantverification.com does and so do several other tenant screening companies, I'm not sure if  http://www.e-renter.com does, you would have to check. Also check with her income and the company that she is working for. As for the security deposit well its possible that's part of the credit issue. She might not have any money saved up if it was a recent and messy divorce. Especially if its like it sounds and the husband basically spend all the money.

Just be careful you don't want to get scammed doing a good deed.

__________________
http://www.tenantverification.com- tenant screening is the first step to a good tenant landlord relationship.
Marytmary1978

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 447
Reply with quote  #4 

Some of our best tenants have poor credit scores.  That is part of the reason they are renting.  We put a huge amount of weight on personal references and prior land lord reference.

 

If you feel really really good about them, maybe you might consider letting them put the deposit YOU want over two months.

PatseChi

Registered: 02/06/12
Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #5 

ya' know - poor credit is bad - trying to pay a SD in installments or less of the SD = they CAN'T afford it; and if you give them the place you're going to find out why they have bad credit...


__________________
Patse
davidmargolies

Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #6 
There is nothing to worry if anybody is new to the rental property business. Obviously anybody would be wary if a prospective tenant has a bad credit score but for this you can always avail the services of a good tenant screening service like tenantapprove.com. They usually provide customized services according to the needs of their customers.
PatseChi

Registered: 02/06/12
Posts: 79
Reply with quote  #7 
if you're a huge mega unit absent LL - you should probably use a management co.
However, I have never trusted nor will ever trust anyone managing or screening my tenants but myself

__________________
Patse
Ratman

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #8 

Ask to see her canceled checks for her rent the last twelve months.  See if she paid on time.  If she can't/won't produce them you don't want her.  In NC you can charge twice the monthly rent for a deposit if they have bad credit.

davidmargolies

Registered: 02/04/12
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #9 

At Tenant Approve, we have the industry's ONLY solution for landlord credit checks. If you haven't realized, accessing a credit check for landlords is nearly impossibly as the FCRA guidelines are strict. The following link give you instant access to your tenant's credit report with the FICO score.

https://tenantapprove.mysmartmove.com/

If you are a larger landlord or property management company, come take a look at our main site for the most comprehensive and competitively priced tenant screening on the market. Find a better price than ours and we will beat it!

David

http://www.TenantApprove.com

TMyers

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #10 
I had a case just the other day when a woman brought proof (copies of her judgement) that her ex-husband was ordered to pay for items on her credit.  I say, if they can prove it, in writing, then it's all right.  If they just say it as an excuse, it would be a no go for us.
__________________
Tiffany Myers
Real Estate Broker & Property Manager
The Property Emporium, Inc.
808 Hope Mills Rd.
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 424-2110
TMyers

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman

Ask to see her canceled checks for her rent the last twelve months.  See if she paid on time.  If she can't/won't produce them you don't want her.  In NC you can charge twice the monthly rent for a deposit if they have bad credit.



Just to clarify: Ratman is correct about the security deposit charge, BUT, you can only do that if you have a year-long or longer lease.  Other limitations apply for week to week and month to month tenancies. (In North Carolina, that is)

__________________
Tiffany Myers
Real Estate Broker & Property Manager
The Property Emporium, Inc.
808 Hope Mills Rd.
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 424-2110
OHlandlord

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 3,537
Reply with quote  #12 
The husband may be ordered by the court to pay - but will he?  Until he does, it's still on the tenant's credit.  The crediting agency will still hold the tenant responsible if the husband doesn't pay.
zonajustin

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #13 
I recommend using a service such as http://www.accurental.com for tenant screening services.  They provide an instant credit check, criminal record search, and eviction history search.  As far as I can tell, they're far cheaper than anyone else on the internet for tenant credit reports.  I prefer their service because I don't have to collect social security numbers or dates of birth.  I don't want the liability of protecting that data.  All I need is the tenant's email address.

Tenant Screening
sang20sang

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #14 
pull his credit report or run a background check.  But other then that tell him theres a honest company I used to get my credit back together pretty much helped my life get back together. Hahaha if you come accross anyone that needs to erase there bad credit regardless of the situation go to nationalcreditenhancement.com Good Luck! they give free advice and only $99 to start a chapter with there credit coaches.
kateylove

Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #15 
Rent a tenant who applied at an institutional co-signing service like EZ Lease Rentals. I heard that the company helps people find a nice place to lease even if they have issues like bad credit, broken lease, bankruptcy, eviction and foreclosure. You can check out their website at http://www.ezleaserentals.com/.
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