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Tenant Screening

We take a unique, holistic view of tenant screening.  We strive for good, long term tenants that are happy living in one of our homes.  We look at the whole person, not just a credit score.  Rhino Rentals follows all Fair Housing laws and has rented to a wide range of people.  We treat everyone equally and with respect. 

Credit

Credit is the most important factor in determining responsibility and it has been proven to be the best indicator of whether someone will pay or not.  If you have a credit score in the 700's, we will most likely approve you.  However, we do look closely at your credit report and make judgements based on the individual items on it.  If you have collections, we will probably deny you.  If you have a lot of late payments, we will probably deny you.  If you have anything stemming from a dispute with a previous landlord, we will deny you.  We do accept foreclosures, but we look at what else is on your credit report.  If you have a foreclosure, but the rest of your credit is clean, we'll rent to you. 

Our basic premise is we look for responsible people.  Foreclosures happen, especially if you have lost a job or gotten very ill.  But if you stop paying your mortgage, then you should have enough money for other things.  Your cell phone bill shouldn't be late.  Your credit cards shouldn't be maxed out and late. 

One of our best renters ever had a bankruptcy.  They had their own business.  They got stuck with a $200,000 loss and tried to dig out for several years before finally filing bankruptcy.  They had the cleanest credit report I had every seen, aside from the bankruptcy.  They weren't late on anything, including their $200,000 business loan.  They just couldn't get out from under it.  We rented to them and they were fabulous.  Paid their rent a week early.  Took care of the house.  And stayed for several years.  Perfect tenants.

Income

Income is important to make sure that our tenants can afford the rent, but they are less important than credit.  I've seen people who budget and handle their finances extremely well be able to afford their housing and other people that make lots more be behind.  So we look to make sure there's enough income to support the rent but there isn't any hard and fast rule that we use.  Some companies use 30% of your income for your housing payment.  Some use four times the rent amount as income (25%).  We think those are arbitrary and don't necessarily mean anything.  If you have great credit and your income is enough to support the payment, then we'll rent to you.

We also verify your employment.

Rental History

We always call your current landlord.  We don't rent to people who have been late with their current or past landlords.  We also ask if the house or apartment was left in good condition when the tenant moved out.  We want people who pay their rent on time and keep things nice. 

Lifestyle

This is a gray area, but we look for people that are responsible.  Did you show up to your viewing appointment 20 minutes late in a car with duct tape on the tail lights, no mirror, and a broken window?  We won't rent to you.  If you can't take care of important things then we don't want you in our house.  There are no Fair Housing protections for stupidity and we try to avoid renting to people that can't take care of things.