What Are Your Requirements

What Are Your Requirements

What are your requirements AL
Have a lot of folks online, asking “what are your requirements”. Scared to answer that in writing for fear of inadvertedly violating something…and, of course, I hate to tell them what lies to tell….So I just reply with here’s our application. My question to ya’ll:
Is it safer to have written criteria? If so, do you PROACTIVELY share your written criteria? Or, just when asked?

What are your requirements OH
This is the first screening tool, probably best to wait until you have taken a few months of court observation before opening for business – see what others are struggling with and do not lower your standards once you have established your program. If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there but there may be expensive bumps and bruises along the way, knowledge is power. Read here often and use the search tools once you are familiar with your local and state tenant rules.

What are your requirements NC
YES I have it written down NO I do not share it as people lie.

What are your requirements VA
“Unfortunately we aren’t authorized to disclose our written screening criteria”.

What are your requirements NY
I wouldn’t share my requirements for screening, but when people ask I say read the listing. In the listing I will put the minimum monthly income required (3x net pay), rental history required with proof of paying rent, and that renters insurance is required. I don’t mention the background check. The listing says no smoking/ vaping and no pets. The pre-screening forms asks these questions but asks do you have any pets or animals. This way if you don’t mention your esa animal you have lied and I can reject for that.

What are your requirements IN
You MUST have a written criteria to show the Fair Housing police when they knock on your door. You must be able to prove you applied that SAME criteria to EVERY applicant.

Sharing it prospects? Our app lists the 6 main categories “Before you apply…”

My checklist is stapled to EVERY application with notes on the white space as to why we denied.

I think the question is popping up more these days because sooo many people have lousy credit, no money, no JOB! It’s a yellow caution flag when they ask this – they KNOW they won’t qualify with a pro LL.

They are looking for Mom & Pop who do not screen.

When I started in the 70’s, my criteria was “Did they fill out the application?” and I did OK. Can’t do that now!

Here’s my Criteria Checklist. I planned to pass this out at Convention but my body had other plans!

Set the criteria high. You can go back and pick the one with the least issues if no one else hits all points. You can also change your checklist, such as I DO allow animals.

This makes screening sooo much simpler. We only have to discuss the one or two points that are not positive.

Name___ Date____ Interested in _____
___ Not a friend or relative, including church, clubs, and work acquaintances.
___ No more than 2 persons per bedroom
___ Ready to move now or when the vacancy is expected
___ Pays similar rent now
___ Cooperative attitude, dependable
___ All persons age 18+ submitted a signed application
___ Photos IDs on all persons age 18+
___ Employment documented, minimum 24 months, with that employer
-Temp agencies do not count
-Lateral job change or upgrade is OK, not job hopping
-Garnishable: No self employed, SSI, disability, or Section8 (where SOURCE OF INCOME is not a protected class)
___ Gross monthly combined income $_____ x .33 = AFFORD $_____
OR After tax net income $_____ x .42 = AFFORD $_____
*Auto Gross Income $_____ x .15 = $_____ allowed deduct difference $_____
*Student loans Gross Income $_____ x .15 = $_____ allowed deduct difference $_____
*Deduct anything over the allowed amounts TOTAL AFFORD $_____
___ Has a rental history of 2 or more landlords. (Exception: enrolled students for student housing w/ parent signing)
___ Good reference from PREVIOUS landlord, not counting the current
___ Current landlord does not say they are bad or late
___ Non-Smoker
___ No animals
___ Not claiming ESA or Service Dog/Horse (THERAPY animals are pets) ___If so, sent request for documentation
___ No evictions filed or asked to leave in the recent 5 years
___ No current Garnishments or Wage Assignments
___ No violent, drug, or dangerous crime convictions in past 10 years
___ No pending lawsuits, court appearances, DUI…
___ Not on Sex Offender list
___ Facebook
___ Google
___ YouTube
___ Credit score 700 or greater (credit reports only required for out of state)
___ Proof of payment during moratorium – bank statements
___ Pandemic comments: _______________________________________________________________________
___ Contacted. Has Deposit and First Month Rent ready
___ Has toured the home
___2 Minute In-Home Visit shows clean, odor free, damage free, animals controlled
Applicant MUST be approved on every line. If not the manager may choose the best applicant.
Date: _____ Approved _____ Contacted _____Offered lease for 24hours _____ No response
_____ On hold pending more info ______ Denied – reason___________________________

What are your requirements FL
I don’t give this information out. So far in Florida we are not required to. I do have written criteria though.

When someone asks this, I’ve found they usually don’t qualify. It’s actually a smart thing to ask rather than going ahead and applying you have a 500 credit score and getting rejected, as so many do.

If someone asks me a specific question about credit, criminal, etc. I am happy to answer but I don’t give out my whole criteria.

What are your requirements WI
Thanks for the comprehensive list.

Have been asked if I’d accept a credit score in the 500’s. When I said no, they flagged my ad!!! and I was no longer allowed to post ads on the platform.

Have been asked about rental references when they live with mom and pop or cousin, like that will be an honest reference.

So yes, need all the documentation and criteria you can verify.

What are your requirements NJ
The “cooperative attitude dependable” jumped out at me. That’s a very subjective statement and leaves you as the bad guy if someone complains. I would have everything factual.

– -completed application
– -arrived on time for view or called to reschedule
– -had official printed evidence of income which could be verified
– -nonsmoker – no odors on body or vehicle
– -fully covered by clothing
– -had official ID
– -no disparaging comments about the unit
– -able to move in within reasonable time, one to two months.
– -credit check required no walkaway from store or personal debt

What are your requirements CA
I have also thought about whether an applicant who was argumentative or disrespectful or whatever other similar issues you choose could be rejected and not conflict with any fair housing issue. I would consider it legitimate as a cause for rejection but the issue seems to then be how to demonstrate such behavior as having occurred. Maybe having notification of recording audio or video when meeting in person or audio when talking on phone.

It is never been a problem because as you can guess, there was always a significant problem also which could be demonstrated objectively.

But what if there was not an objective issue, would a landlord’s personal judgment be sufficient as a cause for rejection as long as it did not violate any protected class issues????

What are your requirements WI
It was CL, which isn’t my first choice anyway. I post in several places. CL used to always get us who we wanted, so I posted this year. Did get two great tenants from it this year. FB was our dream team last year. Lots of inquiries from FB not good ones, eventually got one good tenant from them this year. Used Apartments.com for the first time this year. Got my very best tenant from them this year, and believe I could have gotten a few good ones to choose from Tried Zillow a few years ago. It didn’t work well for us. Now I hear they also charge for ads.

Not a requirement, but I do give extra points for being cooperative. Some are so guarded with their answers to questions and application information. Others will give you more than enough, which makes my job easier.

Among of requirements others have mentioned, I do require the application be completed in full, provide full name and each person 18 and over who will be living there needs to complete an application. If they fail these basic directions, NEXT. How will they follow my lease?

What are your requirements IN
To clarify I do not give out the entire checklist to prospects.

If a LL is talking to a prospect and they ask, always reply with a question, in this case “Why do you ask? Is there a reason you might not qualify?

Thanks for the tip on specifying what is good attitude. I will be added that.

The ON TIME thing is tough to apply because being ON TIME or LATE is flexible in the Millennial and GenZ brains. Plus some people get lost, kid needs a diaper, etc. I have a little patience with that, but on time is good.

What are your requirements PA
1) Rental History screening
2) Credit Check
3) Income verification
4) Criminal Background Check
5) Pass Compatibility check


What are your requirements LA
I have to agree with VEE from Ohio. Don’t even think about being a Landlord before you’ve taken classes provided by you own state Real Estate Association. You will learn all the do-s & don’t-s that will keep you professional and out of court. Then you can refine your own “requirements” and always remember that what you do or say to any prospect, you must say to the next. And, stick with this absolutely fabulous web-site, Mr. Landlord. You will be successful and happy with your tenants and their residencies on your properties!

What are your requirements IL
I show our full requirements on our website, they’re simple and applied consistently.

1) INTENT TO PAY: a 650 or higher FICO score with at least 12 months of payment history. (credit report)
2) ABILITY TO PAY: a rent to income ratio of 35% or less (as measured by paystubs, bank statements and/or 1040/W2)

The score is needed by the applicant and all co-applicants.

That’s it, that’s all of them, no other requirements.

Bankruptcy or evictions? We accept them, but it’s really, REALLY rare to find any with the 650 FICO.

We don’t care about:

– prior rental history or landlord references
– employment references
– how they behave, look or act.

RESULTS: We have five buildings (96 units) on the west side of Chicago. During the past 20 months (all of COVID) we had two tenants that fell behind a full month, but caught up in two months. Right now we have one tenant a month in arrears, she’s paying extra to catch up.

My opinion. FICO Score matters….. a lot! The three credit agencies have teams of data scientists building predictive models of payment. I trust them and look at little to nothing else on the credit report.

What are your requirements MI
My last vacancy I had 7000 views oh fb market place in 10 days. Hundreds of inquiries. Everyone is sent these questions, income, number of people, how long renting, how long at work, any rental issues, any evictions and a few others. Once and only after these are answered I will send them my qualifications and move in process which covers about half a page, and at the same time I contact them to cover showing, applications and any other questions.
Side note: if your afraid of sharing your qualifications you seem even more like you would illegality discriminate against someone.

What are your requirements CA
I provide written criteria to applicants at the same time as application.

1. Each potential resident of the age of 18 must submit a fully completed, dated and signed rental application. Applicants must provide photocopies of their valid driver’s license or state issued I.D. cards. The non-refundable application fee is $35.00 per applicant on the lease. Application fee is to be paid by cash, Zelle or Venmo. No checks accepted.

2. The total gross income of the household must equal or exceed 2-1/2 times the monthly rent. We reserve the right to require a co-signer if debt levels as reported by applicant, or reported on credit report, are high in relation to gross income reported.

3. Applicants must have prior rental history and ability to document that rent payments for the prior 12 month were all made early, or on time. Any prior late rent payments may be cause for declining the application and fees will not be refunded. We reserve the right to require a co-signer if this requirement cannot be met.

4. Applicant’s credit score to be 600 or higher. If the applicant’s credit history shows any individual collection balances of $100 to $3,000, we will require an additional $500.00 on security deposit. If the credit history shows any individual collection balances, or aggregate of $3,000.00 or more, we will require an additional $1,000.00 on security deposit. If the credit history shows any collection balances of $5,000.00 or more, we have the right to deny the applicant and fees will not be refunded.

5. We will not provide you with the credit report or tell you of its contents, but will provide you with the name of the credit report agency so that you may receive a copy in the event you are declined.


Copies Of:

1. Federal Tax Form 1040 for 2019
2. Federal Tax Form 1040 for 2020 or W2 Wage Statement
3. Checking account statements for past 6 months.
4. Most recent utility bill from your current residence

What are your requirements ME
We are looking for a tenant who will pay the rent in full and on time, be respectful to the other tenants, and keep their apartment reasonably clean. From the credit report we are likely to consider student loans and medical bills less strongly than the $50 bill for utilities or multiple credit cards in arrears. I am looking for the commitment to pay their everyday bills and recognize the importance of paying ME.

What are your requirements CA
I’m a “no smoking” guy and ask with the prescreening questions, “Do you smoke inside or outside?” I do not list it in the ad. So far so good. I had some bad experiences in the past.

What are your requirements MI
on smokers i love them, they spend so much on their habit, they stay years loner than non smokers.

What are your requirements NH
I’m adding another one this week. When they ask about something, you say no, and they say no problem. This could be an animal… ok my mom will keep it. Or a trailer… I’ll just park it on the street, it only comes home with me every few weeks (on a street with overnight winter parking bans). No smoking… I was going to quit anyway. Nope, nope, nope, people do not give up animals, habits, and livelihood for an apartment.

What are your requirements PA
Compatibility and cooperation go hand and hand TJ.

I will schedule a showing at 3:56 PM, not 4 PM what message am I sending out? I may ask them bring a pay stub or a copy of there current lease…….what I ask for isn’t what I am truly looking for. I am looking to see if the folks are trainable and willing to listen.

If they are – they are able to start the screening process. But if they show up late for the viewing without reaching out – well credit score don’t matter.

So maybe compatibility might not be the best word. I am retired military so if words like accountability and responsibility scare the lead……we will bad matches.

What are your requirements IN
Careful careful careful…

Give EVERYONE the opportunity to obtain an application and submit it.

Denying them the OPPORTUNITY to apply based on a phone call or comment during a showing can land you in Fair Housing court.

You must be able to PROVE IN WRITING they did not qualify.

What are your requirements OK
I find that since a list is required by the Fair Housing board that I do a list like this . . . It does leave room for at least some leeway on certain things.

List of requirements for prospective Tenants.

All Applicants must pass this list. Any Applicant that fails to receive or score 124 points out of the 133 possible is not acceptable as a tenant. Applicants are not to be advised of this list, prior to determination, so an accurate assessment may be made.

Points – Requirement

• 10 – Applicant makes 3 times or more the rent, net
• 10 – Good recommendations from all past landlords
• 7 – Good recommendations from all past employers
• 10 – Employers verify data on application as accurate
• 10 – Applicant filled out application completely
• 10 – Applicant has a good smile and a pleasant attitude
• 5 – Applicant has a firm handshake
• 10 – Applicants current residence has been kept clean and neat
• 10 – Applicant obeys the law (no criminal record – no drugs)
• 10 – Applicant does not intend to have latch key kids (kids home alone)
• 7 – Applicant’s car is kept clean and neat
• 7 – If allowed, the Applicants pet is friendly
• 10 – Applicant has no previous evictions
• 7 – Applicant’s handwriting is neat and clear (Handwriting Analysis shows no
• major flaws)
• 10 – Applicant has a valid Driver’s License (not just a Non-driver ID) if they
• appear to drive.

What are your requirements KY
• I require any prospective tenant to bring with them at the time they are being shown the house the following proof of work 2 years ( pay stubs )
• list of 3 references, cannot be a friend or relative, must be people they’ve done business with,
• a current copy of their credit score
• their animals if they have any must come with them at that time as well. I like to see how the animal behaves around me.
• As we talk I ask questions regarding why they are moving, I look at their car as they leave, is it clean.
• prior to showing house they are phone screened,
• I have pre screen sheet I fil out while talking to them
• it states the income they have must be 4x the rent to qualify to see the house
• if they are a smoker
• any jail history
• who all will be living at address ( 2 per bedroom)
• current address I go by and check it out
• if they make it thru the prescreen I will call them back to set up a time to look at the house.

Share this post