The following is a list of guidelines that owners may use to make decisions as to whether or not they may accept an application. Please use this list of guidelines to pre-qualify yourself. If you have any questions, get in touch with us!
In order to financially qualify to rent an apartment the basic guideline* is that the tenant(s) must collectively earn three times the monthly rent. For example, if the monthly rent is $1,000 then your verifiable minimum monthly income would have to be $3,000/month.
Verifiable sources of income include:
*The basic guideline is Sloane Realty Group’s policy and aligns with generally accepted responsible renting and mortgage lending standards. It is important to understand that even if you do meet or exceed the income guideline but over half your monthly income is used to pay off monthly debt, you still may not qualify. Monthly debt could be a car payment, student loans, medical payment, etc.— any payment that is a fixed amount and is due on a monthly basis and for a fixed amount of time.
Landlords will carefully analyze your credit report and all the potential risk factors; income/debt ratio, FICO score, payment history, bankruptcy filings, outstanding debts to creditors, foreclosures, etc. There is no specific FICO score threshold, however each landlord is entitled to set a reasonable guideline.
What if I do not have credit? This is up to the landlord to decide whether or not they will allow someone to move in who does not have credit. No credit does not mean you have ‘bad credit’. In fact, when someone has no credit it usually means they pay cash for everything and therefore have no debt.
Ask yourself these questions:
– Do I have good landlord references? If yes, then that’s great! As a tip: It’s always good to give your current and/or former landlord a heads-up that a prospective new landlord may be calling for a reference.
– What if I have no prior rental history? It is something the owner will have to take into consideration but doesn’t automatically mean you’re not qualified.
– What if I have been evicted? This question is on the rental application and you are obligated to answer it truthfully. Evictions will come up on a basic credit report, so landlords will find out sooner or later. Honesty is always the best policy. Explain your situation and circumstances, it is at the owner’s discretion whether or not to rent to someone with a prior eviction or foreclosure.
Why do we ask for a Social Security Number when we process a rental application? We ask so that we can check your credit and verify your identity. Here are some situations you may find yourself in if you don’t have a SSN.
– What if I have an ITIN Number and not a Social Security Number? That is OK, we will still run your credit. A credit report also provides the owner with identity verification. Plus, you can still finance a vehicle and open credit cards with an ITIN number, so you may have some great credit history regardless.
– What if I do not have a SSN or ITIN #? If an applicant does not have either identifying number the owner may deny them based on their inability to verify identity and/or credit. The owner has the right to require an applicant to have credit history.
Undergraduate students are not a legally protected class and the owner may make a decision not to rent to a group of students based solely on their status as undergraduate students.
This policy applies to both “groups” (more than one undergrad, a mix of grad students AND undergrads, etc.) and individuals.
If an owner does decide to rent to undergraduate students, a guarantor will be required for the lease. A guarantor may also be required in other circumstances, however it is always a requirement for undergraduate students.
Important info: Only ONE guarantor is required to guarantee the lease regardless of the number of occupants, however there can be as many guarantors as there are occupants on the lease. For example: if there is a group of four students and only three can solidify guarantors it is okay. All guarantors share responsibility dually and severally, meaning that whether there is one guarantor or four, all assume the same amount of risk for all occupants.
If the listing says “no pets” then it means the owner is not willing to accept a tenant who has a pet. If you have more than one pet, disclose that up-front. Never surprise an owner with a dog you just rescued or a litter of kittens you found. Be honest, if your situation changes during the course of your tenancy inform your landlord!
*Please note: “pets” are not a legally protected class and an owner may make a decision to rent to someone based on whether or not the applicant has pets. See below under the section ‘exceptions’ for all policies regarding Service Animals.
Like anything, there are always exceptions to the aforementioned guidelines.
– Those applying who hold a housing voucher are excluded from the income guideline. They are only required to prove their ability to pay the utilities, if any, or any provide proof of other forms of assistance, such as their enrollment in a fuel-based payment assistance program.
– Service Animals are not considered pets and can not be discriminated against. If you have a Service Animal you may be asked to present paperwork and/or credentials for the animal, which is not discriminatory. See the most recent HUD Guidance here: FACT SHEET ON HUD’S ASSISTANCE ANIMALS NOTICE
– The following are protected classes in Massachusetts and it is illegal to discriminate against someone regarding the rental of housing because of a person’s membership in one of the following classes: Race, Color, Religious creed, National origin, Ancestry, Sex, Marital status, Familial status, Veteran status, Age, Handicap/disability, Gender Identity, Sexual orientation, Children, Public assistance, Children/Lead Paint, genetic information Public Assistance Recipient (e.g., Section 8 voucher holder or MRVP voucher holder).
Sloane Realty Group does not make any decisions regarding who to rent to. The individual landlord/owner of the property does.
Sloane Realty Group does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, familial status, children, marital status, veteran status or membership in the armed services, the receiving of public assistance, or physical or mental disability.