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Posts: 91
Reply with quote  #1 
Hey guys, i have a question in regards to a recent application turned in by tenants.

Im a Real Estate Agent in California

2 Tenants had applied to rent my clients apartment and they mentioned there will be a cosigner on the lease. I stated "im not sure we will accept a cosigner". So they turned in the applications anyways along with the cosigners info. Well, it turns out that the 2 renters have very bad credit (450 fico score and lower) with collections. So the landlord denied their applications based on bad credit ratings. We did not run the cosigners info because we had already made a decision not to rent to these 2. 

I told the 2 rents they have been denied and they flipped out. They are saying that i have to use the cosigner and that there is a law protecting recent graduate students to rent. HUH?? ive never heard of this! They said they will be filing a complaint to the Fair Housing Authority that i am some how discriminating against them. When in fact they have been denied ONLY because of credit issues. 

Have i discriminated against them some how by not using the cosigner? They stated that i led them to believe we will accept their cosigner. In my text messages its clearly states,
"Im not sure the landlord will accept a cosigner".

do they have a case?? i think not!


Posts: 325
Reply with quote  #2 
When you told them, did you follow the law and state the required reasons based exactly on what you found on the credit report? There is a law that if they are denied because of their credit, you have to tell them exactly why. "We require a score of 670 and your score is only 450. Your credit report has 5 accounts in collections. The report came from TransUnion. They can be reached at..." 

I would imagine that even if there were a law protecting recent graduates, it would allow exceptions for actual bad things on the credit report. Maybe you couldn't deny them for lack of credit, but bad credit should be different. 

I would be very surprised if you were required to consider the cosigner. 

They are probably just desperate and don't deserve it because you will get screwed if you rent to them. Some people think they can get what they want by threatening legal action. As long as you have good reason, I doubt anything will come of it. If you deny a black couple for credit and then accept a white couple with the same scores, then they might have a case.

Posts: 91
Reply with quote  #3 
Yes i specifically told them in a text message that the credit score was low with major collections and 30k in back child support payment from 2008. I even offered to give them a copy of their report's so they can verify it. So now they want to meet me in person ( i drive 1 hour to them) and give them everything back. But im not about to meet him in person because of safety concerns. I asked for a mailing address and they responded that they no longer have an address because i didnt allow them to rent.

Yes i think you are right about being desperate.

Posts: 91
Reply with quote  #4 

So i have to give back the tenants information Application, Credit Reports, Paystubs, Tax returns etc. But i wont meet him in person for my safety. So i dropped the paper work off at his current residence and gave it to his roommate, in which i gave a receipt and kept a copy for myself. His roommate said he will hand it over when he gets home.

Now, being that the roommate received the paper work and signed for it, can i be liable is something happens to all the documents? Lost, Theft, or worse Identity Theft?

Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #5 
I have properties in Virginia and New Jersey.  I've had to turn down tenant candidates in each state due to bad credit and poor finance.  I usually provide them a FREE (well they paid for the credit check) copy of their credit report and a letter derived ffrom a template my credit check service has available for landlords.  It is a carefully worded letter that basically says they are being denied due to not meeting the financial requirements to rent.  

Funny, in both instances the potential candidates made a point about "working for law firms" as they were applying.

But I never had a co-signer thrust at me.  Nor have I seen a requirement to accept a co-signer in either state.

And yes, the flames I get from them afterward.  One of them would seek out my ads and complain to the hosting service to have them removed within an hour of posting!  Craigslist does this without question for anyone who complains about an ad.

Luckily, I got a tenant within a week who had seen the property at the same time as the bad tenant.

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