On a daily basis we get asked “What are your qualifications?”
The question its self is grammatically incorrect, but we understand that what people are actually asking is “What are the data points that are examined to put myself in the best position to be approved in the lease application process?”
This is a great question and very important information to know as you start your search for a new lease property, in this instance knowledge is power! Here are 7 points of data you need to know 60 to 90 days before you look at your first property.
- Household income 3 times the amount of the rent – a rule of thumb is take your gross household income (before taxes) and divide it by 3, that is the maximum amount of monthly rent most landlords will approve you for. If your household is two people, and one person brings in $3,500 a month and one brings in $2,500 a month, that is a household income of $6,000. The most these two people would be approved for (based on income) is $2,000 a month rent, or less.
- A CREDIT SCORE of 620 or better – if your credit score is below 620 you need to take immediate action and focus on getting it above that benchmark, by taking action you can usually see improvements within 60 to 90 days. You can check and monitor your credit score for FREE by going to Credit Karma, knowledge is power, go check it now!
- Are you moving within the next 30 days or less – lease property generally moves within 30 days or less so if your move date, additionally, landlords and property owners will only “hold” a property once you have been approved and paid the deposit for 30 days.
- No broken leases or evictions in the past 7 years – in addition to property managers obtaining your credit report, they also pull a report from a national database that discloses any broken leases or evictions. If your social security number is tied to any broken leases or evictions and you owe a past landlord or property owner money, it is an automatic decline on your application. The bottom line here is pay your rent, on time, every month. Pay it one or two month in advance if you can.
- No criminal history in the past 7 years – if you have any sort of criminal history in the past 7 to 10 years, or basically any at all because it is going to show up in the application process, you need to disclose that to your REALTOR® before looking at your first property. Misdemeanors are not an automatic denial, and some felonies are not an automatic denial, but is is going to show up in the application process and it is best to talk about this upfront. Your real estate professional can help you navigate this area of the application process.
- Minimum 12 month lease – 97% of all property being offered for lease is being offered for a minimum of 12 months, if you are looking for a shorter term lease let your REALTOR know up front so they can better help you find properties that offer shorter terms.
- No Sub leasing or offering your property on AirBnB or as a furnished corporate lease – we get a dozen calls a day asking if applicants can sign a lease under their name (or company name) and offer available rentals as corporate leases or on popular websites like AirBnB. About 1 in 500 properties allow this, and about 1 in 1000 HOA’s (if you are looking for a property that is governed by a HOA) allow this.
When you talk to a real estate professional, and usually first contact is made when you care contacting them to tour a property you are interested in, they are going to need the following information from you.
- What is your budget / monthly household income?
- What is your credit score?
- When is your move date?
- Do you have any broken leases, evictions in your past?
- Do you have any criminal history in your past?
- What is the lease length you are needing?
- Will this be for you and is it your primary residence?
Give the real estate professional the information they need to best serve you and you’ll be amazed at the great service they will be able to provide.
Other questions we get asked frequently are answered below, check them out!
– What do property managers / landlords look at when considering lease applicants?
– What is the lease application process like?
– I’M APPROVED, what happens next?
If you have any questions text Kevin Day with Fowler Real Estate Group at 469-583-2527, we are here to help in any way!