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In evaluating an application to rent, there are Three major aspects that we consider.
First of all is Rental History. We evaluate how well applicants have taken care of the properties they've rented and the landlords they've rented from in the past. We consider not only the duration of each stay but the number of and reasons for previous moves. We talk to each landlord. Usually we're looking for long term tenants that will pay the rent on time, take good care of the property and be good neighbors.
Secondly, we consider an applicant's Ability to Pay. We evaluate not only the applicant's amount of income, but it's reliability as well. We don't want a situation where the tenant has to make a choice each month between paying the rent, or the light bill, or putting food on the table. Normally we prefer it when the rent amount is not more than 1/3rd of the applicant(s) gross monthly income.
Lastly, we look at an applicant's Credit History. Of course we'd prefer that each applicant have an excellent credit history, but also recognize there are reasons people rent, as opposed to buying a home and oftentimes that relates to their credit history. There are some things we don't like to see on a credit report; one is a history of utilities going to collection, the other is a history of writing bad checks, but as far as a few problems with credit cards, medical bills or car payments, they typically don't bother us, unless it's excessive or unless that's the only thing that's there. We can understand some problems, but would like to see some good along with the bad. We also perform criminal history checks.
But, the most important aspect of any rental application is Rental History!
Processing normally takes only a few days, depending on how quickly we can talk to the applicant's landlords.