Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Sep 9, 2023 4:50 PM|
Prospects (by 6x6 [TN]) Sep 9, 2023 5:06 PM
Prospects (by Allym [NJ]) Sep 9, 2023 5:20 PM
Prospects (by Moshe [CA]) Sep 9, 2023 5:57 PM
Prospects (by Mapleaf18 [NY]) Sep 9, 2023 6:09 PM
Prospects (by RB [TN]) Sep 9, 2023 7:07 PM
Prospects (by Ed [CA]) Sep 9, 2023 7:25 PM
Prospects (by WMH [NC]) Sep 9, 2023 7:54 PM
Prospects (by Sisco [MO]) Sep 9, 2023 8:15 PM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 9, 2023 8:15 PM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 9, 2023 8:17 PM
Prospects (by tim [CA]) Sep 9, 2023 10:25 PM
Prospects (by Barb [MO]) Sep 9, 2023 10:30 PM
Prospects (by MikeA [TX]) Sep 9, 2023 10:59 PM
Prospects (by Sisco [MO]) Sep 10, 2023 7:42 AM
Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Sep 10, 2023 7:49 AM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 7:53 AM
Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Sep 10, 2023 7:55 AM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 7:58 AM
Prospects (by zero [IN]) Sep 10, 2023 9:19 AM
Prospects (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Sep 10, 2023 10:21 AM
Prospects (by Barb [MO]) Sep 10, 2023 10:37 AM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 11:43 AM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 11:45 AM
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Sep 10, 2023 12:19 PM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 1:05 PM
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Sep 10, 2023 1:39 PM
Prospects (by DJ [VA]) Sep 10, 2023 1:42 PM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 1:58 PM
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Sep 10, 2023 6:02 PM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 8:11 PM
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Sep 10, 2023 8:27 PM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 10, 2023 8:31 PM
Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Sep 11, 2023 6:09 AM
Prospects (by Ryan24 [MD]) Sep 11, 2023 8:45 AM
Prospects (by S i d [MO]) Sep 11, 2023 9:28 AM
Prospects (by David [MI]) Sep 11, 2023 9:53 AM
Prospects (by zero [IN]) Sep 11, 2023 11:26 AM
Prospects (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Sep 17, 2023 8:25 PM
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Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 4:50 PM
Thought experiments for the weekend:
1. Your animal policy is, no puppies and non neutered pets.
Good applicant that otherwise qualifies but has non neutered dog - stick to your policy or bend the rules?
2. Your credit score must be above 625
Otherwise good applicant has 616 - stick to your policy or bend the rules?
3. Your credit score must be above 650
Otherwise good applicants (husband & wife) however one has a credit score of 550 and the other has a score of 700 - stick to your policy or bend the rules?
Prospects (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 5:06 PM
Good question. Seems there is always a little wiggle room when confronted with such situations. So, is it better to stick to the rule book or be flexible? --73.190.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 5:20 PM
How big is the dog?
Do they have a lot of debt. --173.61.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 5:57 PM
My animal policy is: no pets
My credit policy is: CLEAN credit record
Applicant with 616 credit score: Why is his score so low? Did he ever stick someone with a bill? Would he do that to me? Plenty of applicants out there with clean scores.
Otherwise good applicants (husband & wife) however one has a credit score of 550 and the other has a score of 700.
Prospects (by Mapleaf18 [NY]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 6:09 PM
Every LL youtuber states that every time they made an exception, they were sorry. So there's that. --64.246.xxx.xx
Prospects (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 7:07 PM
Does the shoe fit ? --24.183.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by Ed [CA]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 7:25 PM
What is the breed and gender of dog. Did they say why they didn't have it fixed? Did you ask why they haven't had it fixed? --108.201.xx.xx
Prospects (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 7:54 PM
NO NO NO NO Puppies. For a host of reasons.
NO NO NO NO older non-neutered dogs: they can be aggressive and neutering after a certain point does no good. Plus a person who won't neuter their dog is not the type of irresponsible person I want as a tenant.
I agree with Moshe on credit score: WHY is it what it is? Didn't pay utilities or landlords or other crucial providers? No. Medical bills: usually don't care, we are all just a few minutes away from catastrophic medical bills. --50.82.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 8:15 PM
I like a policy of no collections, no charge offs, no late pays better than a FICO score determination . A FICO score minimum requirement is very useful if you are employing a novice and are setting screening policies. If you are personally involved in screening, FICO score isn’t your best bet.
On the applications that I receive , Lack of real estate loans often is named as factor in applicants low score; I understand that people with real estate debt are in general a better risk than those who don’t have real estate debt, but for my purposes a tenant who also has a mortgage isn’t a better risk. --149.76.xxx.x
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 8:15 PM
"we are all just a few minutes away from catastrophic medical bills"
Um hello that is what health insurance is for. I was checking my wife's , she has $1,500 deductible and $4,000 OOP max. That means her yearly medical bills are capped at $4k.
Someone with unpaid medical bills is just as irresponsible as not paying another other bill. I'm considering adding health insurance as a requirement. Someone who has a good job but waives their health insurance coverage is not responsible. --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 8:17 PM
It's not hard to get a 700+ , nearly all of my tenants don't have mortgages (obviously) yet they manage to get 700, sometimes 800.
Someone who can't even get 600 is just a terrible risk. --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by tim [CA]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 10:25 PM
One other thing you should consider when screening tenants. Require 3 months of bank statements. You'll be surprised how that helps make your decision on any tenant, but on this one, I'd pass. --108.201.xx.xx
Prospects (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 10:30 PM
I waive medical debt.
I know plenty of people with $4000 per person deductible and $4000 per person out of pocket max... for each family member. For a family of 3, that is $12,000 they may pay out, in addition to the insurance premiums. The person I'm thinking about pays about $1000 a month as a premium, they don't qualify for a subsidy.. barely.
For the 2023 plan year: The out-of-pocket limit for a Marketplace plan can’t be more than $9,100 for an individual and $18,200 for a family. It has been rising a few hundred dollars each year for the last few years.
How many people do you know who can't come up with $18,200 to pay for medical care if two or more people in the family are seriously ill?
People gamble - they get the least expensive health insurance they can, because it is all they can afford. Then they pray they don't need to use it. --149.76.xxx.xx
Prospects (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Sep 9, 2023 10:59 PM
I have in the past relaxed my criteria when times got tight. We aren't yet in that stage here but I could see it happening if we go into a deep recession. --209.205.xxx.xx
Prospects (by Sisco [MO]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 7:42 AM
Barb, I understand your position when the applicant has $200k medical debt and a$50k income, but, do you waive unpaid medical debt of all amounts? For more than 30 years I have been hearing about medical debt that cannot be paid, yet, I see few whose medical debts exceed $2000. People who won’t pay 5 or 6 $ 85 - $250 bills are most common.
Clearly, these people can pay, but won’t pay. Therefore, I think that I am better off to reject their application than I am to approve it.
My observations of the past decade have been that student loan debt is far more often of unmanageable amounts for applicants than medical debt. However,. I don’t think that I will likely get a prompt paying resident by waiving consideration of student loan debt.
The student loan debt seems to corrupt people and encourage them to not pay any lenders as agreed.
Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 7:49 AM
I appreciate all your thoughts. Part of these questions are because I've set up more automation which will DQ people before I even talk with them. Is this a good thing? Will I throw out some kids with the bath water?
I still think the automation is worth it. It makes it more manageable for 1 person. Dealing with 100+ inquiries while having a full time job and hoping for some family time requires a certain level of automation.
The automation will send a DQ email if you have un-neutered pets. I followed up with the otherwise good candidate and they said the dog was 10 years old and they had no plans to neuter the pet. It was also a lab mix (whatever that might be) but I was OK letting go because as WMH said part of the screening is compliance and cooperativity.
I have found low FICO scores correlate with an increased change of me getting some excuse for late payment. I don't have time for that. I want to get paid and paid on time. So maybe I won't have to worry about the couple with a high and low credit score but I don't feel like taking that chance at this time.
I think that you need to set the bar and have people meet it. While I could say it is part of Fair Housing to treat everyone equally, we all know that life isn't fair and sometime you just want the unit filled and maybe you take someone who isn't 100% perfect. There is a grey area to vetting people and I appreciate you all exploring that with me.
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 7:53 AM
If all three members of a family of 3 get so ill in the same year to each need more than $4k medical expenses , there is something seriously wrong. Either the family has poor health habits or maybe genetics. Doesn't matter, as you said they roll the dice and got cheap health plan. That screens poor financial planning.
My wife is on PPO from her work, we ran the numbers it is only a few bucks more than HDHP. Same for me, I just switched jobs and the PPO is not that more than the HDHPs.
Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 7:55 AM
Oh about the automation, I like that I can say that all applicants are treated to the same criteria. There is no favoritism. My obligations to Fair Housing are met by giving everyone the same access, the same forms, and the same opportunity.
What is interesting to me, is that when the program sends them an email that says, you can view the property just set up a time on my calendar. Some people do not follow through.
Now the market here for SFH is tight. You'd think people who say they are interested and go through the effort of the pre-screening form would follow through with the invite to view.
On the plus side I only have to look at a few applications and meet a few people and only those that follow directions and meet the criteria. --65.188.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 7:58 AM
There is two reasons why I use fico as the main prescreening criteria
1) criteria such as job history and rental references are in the past . If a tenant has high fico, they have incentive to maintain that score by continuing to pay their bills.
2) 700+ fico is not that hard to get. Just get a credit card or car loan and pay ontime for a few months. LLs here will DQ someone for a messy car or because they are late or other non-rental items because they reflect someone who is not organized and able to function in modern society --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 9:19 AM
The market here is tight as well. All the dregs of humanity that were either not paying or having the gov pay rents are now out there looking.
I do not accept gov assistance for rents. Had a guy text me asking if I accepted such and such plan. I said I didn't even know what it was but we don't accept any at this time. OK he says, and then asks if he would have to pay a deposit. I didn't even respond. Should block his number but curious what other silly questions might come up.
Have two current tenants who have people possibly interested and qualified. Will see what happens there. I am not worried as of yet, especially since the place is still being worked on. --107.147.xx.xxx
Prospects (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 10:21 AM
You can not require a service dog to be neutered, and I am going to assume that might apply to an emotional support animal also, just to be on the safe side. So be a bit careful about automatically rejecting any applicant with an unneutered animal.
I've got several pages in my written criteria about pets. It's about PETS and many of the criteria can not be applied to service animals. I have service animals in the written criteria, too, being careful to stay legal in the requirements.
I do not set a credit score. My written criteria says that the credit report must reassure me that I will get paid the rent without any problems. --76.178.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 10:37 AM
Sisco - You are right that medical debt needs to be case by case, like most stuff. I waived one about 20 years ago, who had about $10K in medical debt from a broken leg with no insurance and no means to pay it. She was paycheck to paycheck, plus in school, and just didn’t have the finances to set up a payment plan. I had advised her on how to apply for a waiver for it, no one had told her.
One of my longer term tenants moved in about 6 years ago and was up front. Husband had died, after a long illness. They had over $200K in medical debt. There was no way she could pay it back. She recently declared bankruptcy, and it came out that her student loans had ballooned. They had been sold or transferred between 4-5 different servicers over the years. What started off as about $50K in student loans ended up being nearly $500K in student loans. Apparently even the judge could not figure out how. The judge finally included them in the bankruptcy proceedings.
David - not everyone has access to an employer provided plan. Not all employer provided plans are very good. It is very easy to hit $4000 in medical for one person in a year, sometimes crap just happens. In my friend’s case, the small child fell off monkey bars and broke an arm. Emergency department visit, there goes $4K. She was diagnosed with RA. The meds for RA are expensive. Sometimes people are just unlucky.
Over the last couple of years, I have a new appreciation of medical debt. My hospital stay last year was over $300,000 according to my insurance EOB. Luckily, I had good insurance, but I still was on the hook for $3500 as my OOP max through my employer provided policy. This year, my OOP Max was $4000. I hit it on January 4 when I received my first chemo dose of the calendar year.
$4000 is less than half the maximum OOP Max. --149.76.xxx.xx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 11:43 AM
Most hospitals will let you set up a payment plan. My wife found out she was pregnant with first child after the open enrollment period expired, so she was stuck with a HDHP for the next year where she would be giving birth. That meant we had about $10k in OOP, but we paid for it over the course of a year on a payment plan . The next kid we found out a month before open enrollment so we changed to PPO.
I want tenants who are healthy, who are financially responsible and have the means to pay health care costs. If someone has a chronic illness that's too bad , I can't discriminate based on that but I can discriminate if they can't pay for health care costs.
If someone's employer doesnt provide a good health plan, that's no different than their salary being too low! They should work harder and get a job with better benefits --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 11:45 AM
I've had two tenants have kids, and they managed to pay my rent fine, and I assume their hospitals billed them about the same as my wife for the delivery --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 12:19 PM
Oregon, you said “You can not require a service dog to be neutered, and I am going to assume that might apply to an emotional support animal also, just to be on the safe side. So be a bit careful about automatically rejecting any applicant with an unneutered animal.”
Very true, but I set up his automation for him and have already programmed around that. The script won’t reject for anything “animal related” if it’s claimed as a support/service animal. --172.58.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 1:05 PM
Seems like it would be smarter to have the script not have the option to specify a service animal! --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 1:39 PM
David, I respectfully disagree. --172.58.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 1:42 PM
Being qualified is like being pregnant.
Either you are or you're not.
If you have an upset stomach in the morning, gain weight, and crave pickles with ice cream - it doesn't mean you're pregnant. You need to pass that one, final test at the OB/GYN's office.
If an applicant has many signs that suggest they may be qualified - but can't pass ALL the tests, they are not qualified. --68.229.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 1:58 PM
Many LL will qualify a marginal tenant with a higher deposit.
Me, if a tenant is marginal on rental references, for example if they only have their current landlords reference but no prior landlords reference, then I will qualify with $50 extra rent.
Instead of Pass/Fail pregnancy test, I prefer to think of it as a school exam. I will allow for one small amount collections. I will allow for one unreachable past landlord. You need at least 95% of boxes checked to pass (some boxes are Mandatory and are automatic fail) --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 6:02 PM
For clarification, it doesn’t give them a box to check for “is this a support/service animal?” No, that’s amateurish. The script will analyze every manual user entry to see if any mention of a support animal was made. Manual user entries are things like “optional additional information” provided for each animal. If any mention of a support animal is made anywhere, the script will handle the response appropriately (and it errs on the side of caution). --71.63.xx.xx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 8:11 PM
Why bother letting them enter every question ?
In programming, in an if statement with two conditions connected by AND, if the first one is FALsE the second condition isn't even evaluated.
If they don't pass question 1, stop right there, don't let them goto question 2
If they don't pass q2, stop and don't let them goto q3
That is how I structure my prescreening, I just stop if they don't qualify on a specific question --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 8:27 PM
I log every question to every answer so that if or when they change their answer, I have their original “truth”.
But thank you for explaining to me how an if statement works. I’ll get the hang of it some day. --71.63.xx.xx
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 10, 2023 8:31 PM
Jason, don't be so full of yourself. Obviously I was including the explanation of an if statement for the benefit of all the readers here.
There's no point to letting them answer more questions than necessary once the outcome is determined --68.56.xxx.xx
Prospects (by Bonanza [NC]) Posted on: Sep 11, 2023 6:09 AM
There is nothing wrong with doing things differently. It's finding what works for you that is the key.
Innovate and automate! --65.188.xxx.xxx
Prospects (by Ryan24 [MD]) Posted on: Sep 11, 2023 8:45 AM
Animal policy - no dogs. period. No really, period. 2 cat limit and we see where they are being kept in our current residence inspection
Credit - no hard number but we have hard standards as to what is on there. Medical and student loans are okay if they are not being paid or are collections. Then we have standards on other late payments and the number of late payments they can have in a given time frame. The number is different for a single applicant vs 2 applicant application but for 2 people it is cumulative. The numbers and standard can change depending on what you are looking for and what is acceptable to you but don't deviate from the standard. And write the standard down --73.135.xx.xxx
Prospects (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Sep 11, 2023 9:28 AM
If you have criteria and they work, then stick to them. Don't "bend" them.
If your criteria aren't working, then change the criteria so that they do work.
I find credit scores to be a poor decision making tool. As Sisco says, the info on the report is more important.
Prospects (by David [MI]) Posted on: Sep 11, 2023 9:53 AM
Instead of focusing on why is this person's credit score low , ask why haven't they made the effort to improve it?
If an applicant shows up , say, with their pants sagging below their behind, you would think it is easy for them to pull it up and look presentable even though it may not say anything about their reliability as a tenant.
If someone isn't willing to maintain a high score , that speaks volumes about them and how they view their role in modern society --174.245.xx.xxx
Prospects (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Sep 11, 2023 11:26 AM
I would venture to say that nearly none of my tenants know what their score is, nor do they care.
Usually the only time they worry is when they are trying to buy a house or car.
I have an array of middle class people. Some a little upper and some a little lower.
The only exception to that rule is my kid that still rents from me. --107.147.xx.xxx
Prospects (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Sep 17, 2023 8:25 PM
What ever the standard that you set for that specific unit, keep your approach standard across the board on all applicants. Its the law and you deserve the ability to sleep well at night knowing you are treating everyone fair.
So what happens when no one qualifies?
It is important that you have this standard written down, and at the bottom of that write up, have wordage that says - if management doesn't get any applicants that meet that strict standard, that management can select the best qualified of the applicants that do not meet minimum standards. --24.101.xxx.xxx
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