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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 

I am having trouble getting applicants to fill out the financial obligations section. Any ideas of what I should say to them? I feel like it is a little intrusive, so am having a hard time asking when they don't fill it out automatically.


Posts: 64
Reply with quote  #2 
From Poilisa ...I feel like it is a little intrusive, so am having a hard time asking when they don't fill it out automatically.

Your just the kind of LL I am looking for.  You would never know I didn't pay all my rent to the last 6 LL in the last 3 years.  As for my finances and being able to pay you...that's cool that you don't check on me.   Just kidding

Poilisa  You HAVE to be a hard nose sometime, unless you don't mind paying many K of $ for repairs.  Just read the other post here.  Its your house, your payments, your BK when payments are not to bank on time. I require SS# from everyone staying in my places, Driver license #'s, Work history, DOB, etc.  I have even required a cosigner from someone who lives in the same county as my property is located and the cosigner HAD to own property, not just be a renter. It was a big help went we went to court.  Not just any one is allowed to cosign.  Why a cosigner.  Well the tenant to be almost made the grade in requirements but was just a little short if he wanted the place then a cosigner was required. 


Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #3 
poilisa, just politely tell them you will not consider any applicants who do not totally complete the application.  If they wish to be considered for the unit, do not leave any blanks on the form.  You need the information in the financial sction, maybe more than any of the other.  That information tells you what debts they owe, what banks they use, how many credit cards they are paying on, etc.  You need to know how far in debt the applicant is to see if he can afford the place.  An applicant could make 6 figures a year, but if he already has too many debts he still wouldn't be able to afford to pay you the rent.

You also need to know the bank account inof.  If they leave owing you money, that info will tell you what bank to try to attach a judgment to.  It also gives you account inof in case they bounce a check on you.

You are not being intrusive.  You are trusting a total stranger with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of your property.  All based on a small deposit and a signature on a piece of paper.  You have the right to know that info.  Any applicant that doesn't believe you have the right to it doesn't deserve to be considered for it.  Just mark the application denied for lack of information and set it aside.  Don't even look at it.  Next...

Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #4 

what can I do if a tenant leaves owing money and they are self employed


Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #5 
Depends.  While you can't really garnish wages from self-employed folks, you might still have hope.  Check your state laws.  You may be able to attach bank accounts, lien personal property, and/or attach tax refunds.  If these people might buy a house or other large ticket item in the future, having a judgment against them will force them to pay you off before they can buy it.  The judgment will ruin their credit and force them to pay higher rates on credit cards, loans, etc.  Consider these and research your state's methods of enforcing judgments before you decide.

Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #6 
It is really important on the part of the Landlord to know their tenant's ability to pay. I think that this is just right and the tenants should take notice of it.

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #7 

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Posts: 3,804
Reply with quote  #8 

While I have no problem with advertising in the correct areas of the forum, I suggest you keep it truthful.  Your company certainly isn't the ONLY solution to obtaining credit checks.  A quick Google search will turn up dozens of companies.  While the Federal Credit Reporting Act has requirements, they aren't that strict, nor are they impossible to pass.  They do require some verification on the LLs part, proof that you are operating a business (rentals), and demonstrating the required facility to keep tenant information confidential.  LLs needing credit checks should research these requirements.  Please keep advertising truthful!


Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #9 
I know Tenant screening is an essential element before rent a property but I want to know more facts about how to run a property management company.
how to start a property management company

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #10 
Yes, there are many options for obtaining screening reports on prospective tenants.  the company I represent also provides a source for screening reports, but what makes this company a little different is that the prospective tenant initiates - and pays for - the report and then forwards it to you, the landlord.  This approach eliminates the need for the landlord to contract with data suppliers as well as eliminates the fees you would otherwise pay and then collect from the prospect.  Another advantage is that the prospect gets to see the report before sending it to you (but cannot modify it).  Many people applying for a rental or a job prefer to see their credit and background reports before the landlord or employer sees it.

Just another source worth considering!
My Screening Report

Skip Lahti

Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #11 
I used to feel the same as the original poster, that the financial information section was too intrusive, and I concerned myself with criminal background checks, what I could find on Google, proof of employment.  In other words, I didn't do a thorough enough job.  And the past three tenants I allowed in my three family home turned out to be either crazy or deadbeats or both.  I was way too passive.  Now for the second time in a year, I'm going to be shorted two months rent when the deadbeat moves out, and in this case, I've had to initiate eviction proceedings to get them out.

No more Ms Nice Guy.  I have learned the hard way that the trouble tenants don't always announce themselves right away.

And if someone asks to pay the security deposit over time, then forget them.  You'll never get that money, and it means that they can't afford the apartment.  

I recently had a lovely woman, single mom, come look at a one bedroom apartment for herself and her middle school aged daughter.  She had the same issue of credit problems and wanted to know if I'd accept half of the SD up front and half over time.  As we talked I noticed she worked into the conversatio a second and then a third child who lived in the area and I realized that I was probably going to end up with an adult and three kids ages 9 to 21 living in a 500 sq ft apartment designed for two adults, max, and that she was already having trouble scraping together rent and security.  When she called back I politely told her that was concerned about the number of persons in the apartment and  her ability to pay, and she was fine with that.  I dodged a bullet that time.

newbie landlord

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Posts: 369
Reply with quote  #12 
One of the most important things to remember is that YOU ARE NOT THE TENANT'S FRIEND. You are in business and there is nothing personal.  I completely agree about the security deposit thing. If someone does not have enough for the security deposit all at once, they aren't going to have enough to pay you. This means that they have NO financial safety net, so if one little thing goes wrong with their finances, chances are they are going to short you paying rent.  (Because of course they're not going to stop paying for the cable TV or their cell phone.)

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #13 
I've been leasing out property for years and I recently found a great software called Tenantfile. I particularly like this software in regards to the screening process in that it allows you to pick and choose how to screen your tenants via their a la carte screening options. This has been great to me and I haven't had a truly troublesome tenant in quit a while. You ought to check it out here:

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #14 
Hello everyone!
I found this tenant screening website, but I don't know anything about it, are they OK?,has anyone any suggestions ?

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #15 
A great solution to this is to use an online application tool. This way, the financial information stays private and Tenantopia does the verification and reports it to the landlord. This removes all awkward moments and helps landlord make an informed decision with a complete picture of the tenant's liquidity, monthly obligations, credit card bills, and income. Tenantopia even includes a credit report and background check all for only $30 charged directly to the tenant.
Exclusively for DIY Landlords and Property Managers
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