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Credit Score

We are renting one of our houses for the first time by ourselves. Previously we hired a company to do it but they were expensive and the tenants have changed every year so I decided to give it a try myself.   Many of the applicants have told me up front they have low credit. My question is, at what low number do you disqualify an applicant? Several have asked if I have a limit and I tell them I care more about their history and that they have paid on time, but I am going to do a credit and criminal background check anyway.   What number do you prefer?

I am very particular on this topic and do not rent to anyone with a credit score less than 650. I will favor any applicant with a credit score over 725.  I would rather reduce the rent for the "right" most credit-worthy applicant than lose a month or two of rental income to an applicant with poor credit history. Everyone has a story....
I've experienced the same thing.  Interesting enough, my tenants who have had poor credit, were the ones who actually paid on time each month.  They realize they cannot just go rent anywhere they want and for that, they seem to really place making payments a top priority.  I've also seen someone with terrible score, that had solid payment history for over 4 years and never paid late.  Sometimes you just have to go with what feels best in the situation.
Most of my tenants have bad credit history and never had a problem so far. What I look for is income to be 3x times the rent, solid rental reference i.e. rent paid on time and keeping the place in a nice condition and also when you meet the tenant in person you can really tell if they are good or not. In my experience property management companies are really useless...they mark the rent down to get a tenant and charge a ton of money and don't care about what kind of person is staying in.
Thank you for the responses on this question. We decided to go with a 3x income rate and a personnel feeling of the renter. Most the people that applied to our house told me up front that they had a credit score in the 600's. The woman that applied had a low 625 score, but my wife liked her when she showed the house (vs the other 20 people that saw the house), and she supplied copies of her income to verify the 3x amount. As long as her rental history comes back clean, I feel good about renting to her ....... plus the property is not the best so its unlikely to get someone with a high 700-800 score.
I agree with Colette.  We started in 2010,  and in the recession most applicants had a credit history issue,  lost job, etc.  We have been pleased with 90% of the tenants we chose.  I will say the two nightmares had excellent credit...but were just nuts once they got in. One said she had no pets,  (30# limit), then brought in a pit bull and let in ROAM FREE when it was outside...and a public walking path was literally 20 ft. away.  I knew nothing until the dog killed a small dog on leash being walked on the path,  the small dog's owner picked up a rock and injured the pit bull,  and my tenant literally RAN AWAY in her car.  The cops called me because I own the place.  That woman?  815 credit score and I really liked her!  My insurance paid the $3000 payout to the small dog owner,  and that woman tried to sue ME for her dog's injuries.  Then she tried to sue the small dog's owner.  (Both cases were dismissed and she left the state.)  On "going with your gut",  I agree with this WITH CAVEATS.  Many of us (I'd say ALL) have unconscious biases,  and your gut may tend to prefer your own race,  age, marital status, sexual preference  etc...which can get you sued.  So be careful and aware of your thoughts and feelings about particular applicants.  And the two nut cases?  Both were fun to talk to but a bit quirky.  I've learned it's fine to be friends with quirky people but do NOT rent to them....
Hey! A lot of funny comments here actually.
Hey! A lot of funny comments here actually. Most of all I like the story of how Hamlet was shortened by one teacher. Great idea for students. It can launch a new profession – short story writer who would turn classic novels into small narrations. Students will appreciate it. I am from the UK [url][/url]. And I wonder how many new stories about Shakespeare appear every year.
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