We’ve been doing this for a while now and we’ve learned a lot about what makes a great building. Yes, the location is important. And the renovations have to be right.
But a major part of making a building great for the people who live in it and manage it is making sure that the tenants are nice people. So, we’ve established some ground-rules to try to ensure that we get the right kind of people in our buildings:
1. Have good credit. It’s pretty tough to check references these days, because a lot of landlords are worried about being sued for saying the wrong thing (though we try!). So, we use a credit check as a proxy for looking at your financial reliability. In general, we don’t mind debt – lot’s of people have student loans. But we don’t like late / missed payments, because if you’re willing to stiff your lenders, you’re probably willing to stiff us.
2. Have two or fewer pets. Some people like visiting zoos (not me, but that’s a different story), but no one wants to live in them. It’s not fair to the other people in the building if we allow in huge numbers of pets. So we might allow 1-2, depending on the building and the pets. But we’re not allowing more.
3. Have some way of demonstrating sufficient income to cover the rent. Oh, you have no income? But you’d like me to give you a brand new, beautiful apartment in a great part of town, one that would cost me $3-5k to get back from you if you don’t pay? I’m probably not signing up to that deal.
4. If you don’t have great credit or a way to demonstrate income, be prepared to put down a larger deposit and/or have a co-signer. We totally understand that some people have weird/untraditional circumstances. Maybe you come from another country and don’t have credit yet. Or maybe you don’t work, but have some dough in the bank or a parent who foots the tab. That’s cool… but we’re going to need to make an explicit arrangement so that we’re not left holding the bag.
5. Don’t be a jerk. This one is slightly harder to quantify. But, if you miss appointments with our leasing people, treat our staff rudely, fail to answer calls / texts / emails, be assured that you won’t get one of our apartment homes. There are plenty of nice people out there; life’s too short to deal with jerks.