Author Topic: Idle question – when I rent  (Read 1834 times)

iris lily

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Idle question – when I rent
« on: May 10, 2019, 09:33:16 AM »
 Probably in a couple of years we’re going to sell our city house and move to our weekend house. I want to rent a place in the city then.

It’s been 35 years since I rented any place and back in those days credit checks were not commonly performed.

My credit score is fine, but I will have no references from landlords.  Also, our income is kind of low. We keep it that way although by then I will be sucking more from the government teat.

But let’s say today I wanted to rent an apartment for $1000 a month and I told you my income last year was $39,000, no debt,  credit score 796 (DH’s credit score is 810ish) no landlord referrals possible.

Would I qualify to rent from you guys?

Cassie

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 11:28:44 AM »
Some require you to make 3xs what the monthly rent costs.  I would think you could show bank statements to prove you have the money. When my mom was retired she sold her house and easily rented with her retirement income.

Jon Bon

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 12:39:20 PM »
You will be fine.

I assume you are typical badass mustachian so your debt will be nearly non-existent on a credit report. Worst case you have to show a bank/brokerage statement.

From a landlord prospective older folks tend to be pretty stable compared to "the youts". I rent to a ton of 20-somethings so you would be a dream tenant to me! (I assume)


ilsy

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 11:57:18 PM »
You might be a dream tenant for a private landlord, but apartments usually belong to large organizations who hire property managers with strict rules on income. So, yes, you might have a problem, especially if you are going to rent "good" apartments that see plenty of applicants.

It all depends on your city. I am subscribed to several private landlords groyps on Facebook and often see people posting that they got rejected because of their income, asking for recommendations on places that don't ask for income verification and looking for private landlords for that reason.

It might be good idea to find a co-signer (no matter how rediculous it sounds) with a better income. The same way as parents are served as co-signers for their kids who are in college and have a low or no income.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 12:33:02 AM by ilsy »

zygote

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 11:19:10 AM »
It really depends on your city.

Here, it is a pretty common requirement that you need to have an annual income 40x the monthly rent or you need someone to co-sign. Browse through current rental listings in your city and see if there is something similar. Then at least you'll know and can plan for it.

Seadog

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 05:09:53 PM »
Probably in a couple of years we’re going to sell our city house and move to our weekend house. I want to rent a place in the city then.

It’s been 35 years since I rented any place and back in those days credit checks were not commonly performed.

My credit score is fine, but I will have no references from landlords.  Also, our income is kind of low. We keep it that way although by then I will be sucking more from the government teat.

But let’s say today I wanted to rent an apartment for $1000 a month and I told you my income last year was $39,000, no debt,  credit score 796 (DH’s credit score is 810ish) no landlord referrals possible.

Would I qualify to rent from you guys?

Your situation was kind of like mine. Being mustachian, I've always bucked the trend, and never really fell into the normal mold, which always involved more questions and paperwork. Up until recently, work either always provided a house, or hired someone to drive me around and let me pick one out, then handle the details of setting it up. Once they make the effort to "get" you though and learn your colourful story, (assuming they do), then generally you have someone who sees the value there and is an ally in your corner. Dealing with mega-corp rentals who employ some $12/hr drone who get's confused because $2m in assets doesn't equate to a yearly income you can straight up do without.

As others' have stated, your best bet is to find a private house or condo and deal with one person so you can charm them and demonstrate that you are a 1 in a thousand person. Asking them about paying a year or two upfront for a bit of a potential discount to allay their concerns helps as it's an casual, non-boastey way of letting them know that coming up with $50k tomorrow would merely require a perfunctory drive to the bank.  Also make sure to mention that since you "recently sold one of your two houses" as the reason you're in the rental market.

I had a similar problem when I was like 22, just after I graduated. I wanted the fancy points credit card that came free with my bank account that was normally $120/yr. They said it wasn't possible since I had no income, while a friend pulling 30k/yr was able to get a card. I told them I have no debt, and 75k liquid assets, which although I'm not sure, is probably doing ok for someone fresh out of uni with no job? Obviously I'm great with money, so why does a pidley $5k CC matter. Their argument was something along the lines of "you'd be surprised how many people can blow through that kind of money". My response was "No, because if I was the sort of person to do that, then I wouldn't have made it to 5, 10, 25, or 50k of savings. It would have been long gone before all of that". Eventually they acquiesced on the condition that they freeze $5k, but it was a mindfuck to sit there and essentially be told someone with $100k in student debt, 15k in car debt, but a $30k income is less financially risky than me.

Unfortunately when you march to the beat of your own drum, some people get very uncomfortable. Do your best to avoid them, and deal with those that get it.   

Dicey

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 10:31:20 PM »
The only time I was in a similar situation, I offered to pay something like three or four months in advance. It worked.

spartana

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2019, 12:00:01 PM »
Hey @iris lily I have had a very difficult time trying to rent a "regular" place as a low income FIREee. I was a very long term home owner and once house was sold I was hoping to rent in various places for 6 months to a year. But my FIRE passive income is low and not enough to qualify for most traditional rentals with their income requirements. At least in the areas I wanted to rent. Most don't accept having a large amount of savings or investments as qualifiers - only income. So I've looked more at short term monthly vacation rentals or possibly having to pay several months up front (not possible in many traditional apt or house rentals that have property managers).

So my suggestion is to look at individually owned property rather than complexes as you'll likely be able to find more willing landlords who don't need to hold to income rules - which seem to be that your income needs to be 3 or 4 times the monthly rent amount. Also they will likely be able to accept several months rent at once or a large deposit.

ETA Just re-read your OP and if your income is $39k and you are looking at renting a $1k/month place I think you'd qualify pretty easily. Especially if you have no debt. In my case I was looking to rent places that would have been 50% or more of my income. So I think you will probably have no problem.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 12:16:11 PM by spartana »

Enigma

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2019, 12:41:42 PM »
My credit score is fine, but I will have no references from landlords.  Also, our income is kind of low.

But let’s say today I wanted to rent an apartment for $1000 a month and I told you my income last year was $39,000, no debt, credit score 796 (DH’s credit score is 810ish) no landlord referrals possible. Would I qualify to rent from you guys?

Yes, kind of.  First off IF your Gross income was $39k last year.  The max with the company I work for is $975/m (30% of your gross income [39k * .3 div 12] ).  Credit sounds good unless there is no credit activity.  You would need to show the last 4 weeks of paystubs to show you were still grossing about the same as the year prior.  Possibly a double deposit would be required since you do not have rental history that can be verified.


spartana

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 12:56:21 PM »
My credit score is fine, but I will have no references from landlords.  Also, our income is kind of low.

But let’s say today I wanted to rent an apartment for $1000 a month and I told you my income last year was $39,000, no debt, credit score 796 (DH’s credit score is 810ish) no landlord referrals possible. Would I qualify to rent from you guys?

Yes, kind of.  First off IF your Gross income was $39k last year.  The max with the company I work for is $975/m (30% of your gross income [39k * .3 div 12] ).  Credit sounds good unless there is no credit activity.  You would need to show the last 4 weeks of paystubs to show you were still grossing about the same as the year prior.  Possibly a double deposit would be required since you do not have rental history that can be verified.
What if your income is all from investments? Or savings? Say a person shows they cashed some bonds or CDs or IRAs or 401ks or withdrew from investment funds once a year to cover their annual expenses. Would a landlord or property management company even consider those as "income"?

When I first FIREd and wanted to rent (or just rent while I travelled while continuing to  own my house) no one accepted my savings or investments as a viable income source. When I tried to pre-pay cash for several months upfront my source of income was questioned (Drug dealer? Hooker? Sugar Daddy?) and my annual or monthly investment sales for cash weren't considered income. Its tough when you are an unemployed person much younger than traditional retirement age.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 01:00:29 PM by spartana »

Enigma

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2019, 12:58:54 PM »
With the rental company that I work for, you have to show income with paystubs, W-2, yearly taxes...  Something.  Individuals that are paid under the table (cash) usually have a hard time renting from a rental company.

The issue is they are the middle men working for both the owner and the renter.  I think they have to be picker than the owner has to be.

spartana

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2019, 04:03:49 PM »
With the rental company that I work for, you have to show income with paystubs, W-2, yearly taxes...  Something.  Individuals that are paid under the table (cash) usually have a hard time renting from a rental company.

The issue is they are the middle men working for both the owner and the renter.  I think they have to be picker than the owner has to be.
Thanks. That's kind of what I thought. Those who don't have verifiable incomes or enough verifiable income,  just a big stash for living expenses, probably will have to rent in a more unorthodox way.  I know its been a struggle for me to find a landlord, even an individual owner/landlord, that wants to rent to me. Not having rental references as a long term home owner is probably problematic too.

FIREstache

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2019, 07:35:08 PM »
With the rental company that I work for, you have to show income with paystubs, W-2, yearly taxes...  Something.  Individuals that are paid under the table (cash) usually have a hard time renting from a rental company.

The issue is they are the middle men working for both the owner and the renter.  I think they have to be picker than the owner has to be.
Thanks. That's kind of what I thought. Those who don't have verifiable incomes or enough verifiable income,  just a big stash for living expenses, probably will have to rent in a more unorthodox way.  I know its been a struggle for me to find a landlord, even an individual owner/landlord, that wants to rent to me. Not having rental references as a long term home owner is probably problematic too.

I've never rented except with roommates who were already renting or from people I had inside contacts with.  Does that mean you are out the application fee every time they turn you down?

Enigma

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2019, 07:34:35 AM »
I've never rented except with roommates who were already renting or from people I had inside contacts with.  Does that mean you are out the application fee every time they turn you down?
The application fee tends to cover the background check and credit check with just about every agency.  Even personal owners can use sites like Transunion's Smartmove (Rental Screen) for just one property.

Every time you are turned down with rental companies and even personal owners, you are out the rental fee and there is a slight ding to your credit from a hard pull.  I do not recommend multiple applications.  Try and be very specific with what you want and know all the information about what they require before the application is put in.

jinga nation

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2019, 07:45:05 AM »
you'd be a dream tenant for me.

I'm renting to a retiree, and have had a couple more previously. ideal renters. low maintenance, no fuss, patient.

One of my tenants is retired AF, who, after a 20 year career, decided he was done working. He worked PT on golf courses in return for free membership and golf. He made some side money, his now-deceased wife worked in retail. He doesn't need much. His retirement income was 2x the rent, but he has VA healthcare and his income stream is guaranteed. He's been renting for 4 years. He was adamant on 3 1-year back to back leases when he signed, he wanted to lock in his rents.

Another tenant had never worked in her life, but showed several sources of income and funds, she was well-off. She had a condo in CA too. She had about 4x in pensions coming in (from her ex's sports career). She didn't bat an eye when we asked 3x security deposit.

We don't charge application fee if the initial application doesn't pass the sniff/due diligence tests.

spartana

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2019, 09:24:04 AM »
I've never rented except with roommates who were already renting or from people I had inside contacts with.  Does that mean you are out the application fee every time they turn you down?
The application fee tends to cover the background check and credit check with just about every agency.  Even personal owners can use sites like Transunion's Smartmove (Rental Screen) for just one property.

Every time you are turned down with rental companies and even personal owners, you are out the rental fee and there is a slight ding to your credit from a hard pull.  I do not recommend multiple applications.  Try and be very specific with what you want and know all the information about what they require before the application is put in.
I've directly contacted the landlord or property management company before filling out an application and explained my unique FIRE situation. That helps me avoid paying a fee when it's likely that I won't meet the income qualifications even with fairly fat savings/investments.

 I've found an easy route which is to stick with 6 month leases on vacation rental property in a resort area. Even though they are leased and managed by a property management company, they are very bendy with the rules if you have cash to pay up front. But I'd always ask upfront before filling out an application and paying a fee (also bring your current credit report and investment/savings statements) if income doesn't meet the qualifications.

Villanelle

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2019, 09:42:45 AM »
We just finished a rental search.  Most place required income of 3x rent so if you have that, I think you'd be fine.  We had no rental history to speak of (we lived overseas and sometimes in military housing for the past 9 years).  It wasn't a concern at all, though admittedly some people will accept terms from military families what they might not from others.

Enigma

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2019, 11:36:56 AM »
We just finished a rental search.  Most place required income of 3x rent so if you have that, I think you'd be fine.  We had no rental history to speak of (we lived overseas and sometimes in military housing for the past 9 years).  It wasn't a concern at all, though admittedly some people will accept terms from military families what they might not from others.
Military do fall into another category.  Living in a military city the requirements tend to be a copy of a military individuals LES (Living & Earnings Statement) showing BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing).  Anyone that is of the rank of E4 and below required a memo from their commander (SPC and below) due to most of them being required to live on base.  If BAH wasn’t on their LES a commander’s memo can be used as well showing they can live off base.

FIREstache

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2019, 05:51:18 PM »
Most place required income of 3x rent so if you have that, I think you'd be fine. 

Even if that income is only from dividends, interest, capital gains, and 401K distributions?

Seems odd that I couldn't rent an apartment despite being a millionaire and a >800 FICO credit rating.

chasesfish

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2019, 06:03:50 PM »
Posting to follow.

Its interesting being turned down for a rental if your income is interest/dividends and taxable retirement account conversions.

I guess working with individual landlords is easier when you can show them a brokerage statement with enough money in it to just buy their property outright

Dictionary Time

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2019, 08:07:42 PM »
Would the 3x rule include the rent and my mortgage? We’re moving and selling. Carrying cost are fine from my point of view, but that might make the numbers off.

This is off gross, not net, right?

We’ve been homeowners for 19 years, so I’m not sure how to navigate all this.  “Luckily” we’re still employees, so we have the traditional paystubs, etc.

We have 810-820 scores, but I don’t want to ding them up with a denial for a rental.

chasesfish

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2019, 05:39:48 AM »
@Dictionary Time - Hard pulls don't hurt your credit now as much as they used to.  The credit bureaus have weened down the effect of that.

I don't have anything to back that up, just fifteen straight years of looking at credit reports.  Our trainers didn't have good answers for us back in 2003 when our banking class was asking why.  Now with the advent of the internet, its normal for people to competitively shop and have their credit pulled a bunch. 

Linea_Norway

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2019, 05:49:04 AM »
If you would show your landlord what you have in your brokerage account, wouldn't the landlord then be very tempted to increase the rent a lot? I think it would be smart to first look in the contract at how the rent increase is regulated. And then be open about your finances.

In our case when we FIRE, we will sell the home, invest 50% of the money in stock and stock 50% away in a high interest savings account. That last sum should be enough to buy another home, probably the rental itself. I guess we could show the landlord that account and tell that we would need it in due time to buy a home.

By the way, is that smart, to let a landlord know how long you want to rent something? I think we might rent for a year, to try out a new area. But I see now from friends that they were very tempted to buy long before their one year renting contract ran out. Are landlords sceptic towards renting to people who will move out in a year? If we would show we have money enough to buy a home, they can guess we will do that some time soon.

Villanelle

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2019, 09:26:02 AM »
Would the 3x rule include the rent and my mortgage? We’re moving and selling. Carrying cost are fine from my point of view, but that might make the numbers off.

This is off gross, not net, right?

We’ve been homeowners for 19 years, so I’m not sure how to navigate all this.  “Luckily” we’re still employees, so we have the traditional paystubs, etc.

We have 810-820 scores, but I don’t want to ding them up with a denial for a rental.

None of the ones we got detailed info on asked about expenses.  It was just "3x income to qualify".  They also didn't specify net or gross.  I'd assume gross just because takes are so varied. 

Also, showing records of having paid a mortgage regularly would likely help, especially if you go with a place that is privately managed as opposed to a large rental group.  Even a property manager contracted by a private owner might be more challenging, but still perhaps something you can work with if you explain up front and bring proof of mortgage payments and account balances.  Unfortunately, no one can really give you a specific answer because it will vary by the owner/manager, but situations where you can talk to a real human with discretion to make decisions are likely to be better if you run in to trouble. 

Villanelle

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2019, 09:28:34 AM »
If you would show your landlord what you have in your brokerage account, wouldn't the landlord then be very tempted to increase the rent a lot? I think it would be smart to first look in the contract at how the rent increase is regulated. And then be open about your finances.

In our case when we FIRE, we will sell the home, invest 50% of the money in stock and stock 50% away in a high interest savings account. That last sum should be enough to buy another home, probably the rental itself. I guess we could show the landlord that account and tell that we would need it in due time to buy a home.

By the way, is that smart, to let a landlord know how long you want to rent something? I think we might rent for a year, to try out a new area. But I see now from friends that they were very tempted to buy long before their one year renting contract ran out. Are landlords sceptic towards renting to people who will move out in a year? If we would show we have money enough to buy a home, they can guess we will do that some time soon.

I probably wouldn't mention planning to move in a year.  All other things being equal, if I had two interested parties, I'd go with the one where there was a decent hope of them renting longer.  There's no reason to tell them *why* you have all that money in your account, so I don't really see what you gain from it.  Call it proceeds from a sale if you must say anything, and tell them that after the work of home ownership, you are looking for the ease of renting. 

I'm not sure what you mean about friends being tempted to move out sooner than a year.  If you sign a one year lease, that's not really an option, unless maybe your lease allows for sub-leasing. 

spartana

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2019, 11:43:19 AM »
Would the 3x rule include the rent and my mortgage? We’re moving and selling. Carrying cost are fine from my point of view, but that might make the numbers off.

This is off gross, not net, right?

We’ve been homeowners for 19 years, so I’m not sure how to navigate all this.  “Luckily” we’re still employees, so we have the traditional paystubs, etc.

We have 810-820 scores, but I don’t want to ding them up with a denial for a rental.

None of the ones we got detailed info on asked about expenses.  It was just "3x income to qualify".  They also didn't specify net or gross.  I'd assume gross just because takes are so varied. 

Also, showing records of having paid a mortgage regularly would likely help, especially if you go with a place that is privately managed as opposed to a large rental group.  Even a property manager contracted by a private owner might be more challenging, but still perhaps something you can work with if you explain up front and bring proof of mortgage payments and account balances.  Unfortunately, no one can really give you a specific answer because it will vary by the owner/manager, but situations where you can talk to a real human with discretion to make decisions are likely to be better if you run in to trouble.
It's funny because shortly after I FIREd I sold my house with the plan of renting. I sold my paid off house, and had put a large amount of cash from the sale proceeds in savings to live off,  plus no debt, good credit score, no dependent and with a obviously good mortgage payment history. But when I wanted to rent the whole "must have a current  income" thing was all that mattered. It was weird. And being single (divorced) and not having a job for a few years and in my early 40s who was willing to pay all cash upfront seemed to be a big red flag - even for individual owner landlords. You'd think I would be an ideal tenant but apparently not. Since at that time I was living on cash and had no income just savings, it wasn't accepted. I eventually bought again as renting was too difficult. Now I'm in that same situation again - not enough traditional income outside of savings/investments and wanting to rent elsewhere.

ETA I also had years of zero taxable income so if a landlord wanted to see a 1040 to check previous income that didn't help.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 11:51:00 AM by spartana »

Cassie

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2019, 05:26:35 PM »
When we had a rental we didn’t care where the money came from and would have accepted a fat bank account.

FIREstache

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2019, 06:36:24 PM »
Would the 3x rule include the rent and my mortgage? We’re moving and selling. Carrying cost are fine from my point of view, but that might make the numbers off.

This is off gross, not net, right?

We’ve been homeowners for 19 years, so I’m not sure how to navigate all this.  “Luckily” we’re still employees, so we have the traditional paystubs, etc.

We have 810-820 scores, but I don’t want to ding them up with a denial for a rental.

None of the ones we got detailed info on asked about expenses.  It was just "3x income to qualify".  They also didn't specify net or gross.  I'd assume gross just because takes are so varied. 

Also, showing records of having paid a mortgage regularly would likely help, especially if you go with a place that is privately managed as opposed to a large rental group.  Even a property manager contracted by a private owner might be more challenging, but still perhaps something you can work with if you explain up front and bring proof of mortgage payments and account balances.  Unfortunately, no one can really give you a specific answer because it will vary by the owner/manager, but situations where you can talk to a real human with discretion to make decisions are likely to be better if you run in to trouble.
It's funny because shortly after I FIREd I sold my house with the plan of renting. I sold my paid off house, and had put a large amount of cash from the sale proceeds in savings to live off,  plus no debt, good credit score, no dependent and with a obviously good mortgage payment history. But when I wanted to rent the whole "must have a current  income" thing was all that mattered. It was weird. And being single (divorced) and not having a job for a few years and in my early 40s who was willing to pay all cash upfront seemed to be a big red flag - even for individual owner landlords. You'd think I would be an ideal tenant but apparently not. Since at that time I was living on cash and had no income just savings, it wasn't accepted. I eventually bought again as renting was too difficult. Now I'm in that same situation again - not enough traditional income outside of savings/investments and wanting to rent elsewhere.

ETA I also had years of zero taxable income so if a landlord wanted to see a 1040 to check previous income that didn't help.

Well spartana, if I decide I want to relocate, I might have to try that living in the van down by the river after all.  lol

lhamo

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2019, 09:36:37 PM »
I saw about 5-6 units when I first moved back to Seattle, all but one were private landlords. I took a copy of my credit report and recent statements from my bank and investment accounts.  Explained the situation (relocating from overseas to support DS in prestigious academic program), and expressed willingness to pre-pay any amount they saw appropriate.  All of them would have been happy to have me as a tenant -- one unit I was behind someone else who had seen it first, but the others I was their top pick.  The last place I saw after I had already signed a contract, so I spoke very openly with him about what I liked/disliked about the unit, and asked him what he liked/disliked about me as a prospective tenant.  He said the credit report and money in the bank were hard evidence that I had the money, and my story made sense and I seemed like a good, responsible person.  Basically I was his dream tenant and he even called me after to make sure I wasn't interested.

If this is the reaction I got in the hot Seattle rental market, I don't think you guys will have trouble finding a decent place at a reasonable price.  Anybody who looks sideways at someone who is FI probably isn't the kind of person you want as a landlord anyway.

Rightflyer

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2019, 05:14:27 AM »
When we relocated to the UK we were warned it would be difficult to rent (especially with dog in tow).
We had no credit rating (weirdly, Credit Ratings don't carry across borders, despite the fact that they are computed by the same credit rating companies) and no rental history (lifelong homeowners).

Also, it seems that most houses here are rented through Estate Agents who go through all the same song and dance with standardized application forms.

An offer to pay the rent up front (6 months is the normal rental contract) made all problems go away.
In fact in our first rental, it also got the "no pets" issue resolved favourably (after the Landlady had met our dog...)

We also offered to show our investment and retirement savings statements but there seemed to be no interest on the agents part.

 

spartana

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2019, 11:34:10 PM »
Would the 3x rule include the rent and my mortgage? We’re moving and selling. Carrying cost are fine from my point of view, but that might make the numbers off.

This is off gross, not net, right?

We’ve been homeowners for 19 years, so I’m not sure how to navigate all this.  “Luckily” we’re still employees, so we have the traditional paystubs, etc.

We have 810-820 scores, but I don’t want to ding them up with a denial for a rental.

None of the ones we got detailed info on asked about expenses.  It was just "3x income to qualify".  They also didn't specify net or gross.  I'd assume gross just because takes are so varied. 

Also, showing records of having paid a mortgage regularly would likely help, especially if you go with a place that is privately managed as opposed to a large rental group.  Even a property manager contracted by a private owner might be more challenging, but still perhaps something you can work with if you explain up front and bring proof of mortgage payments and account balances.  Unfortunately, no one can really give you a specific answer because it will vary by the owner/manager, but situations where you can talk to a real human with discretion to make decisions are likely to be better if you run in to trouble.
It's funny because shortly after I FIREd I sold my house with the plan of renting. I sold my paid off house, and had put a large amount of cash from the sale proceeds in savings to live off,  plus no debt, good credit score, no dependent and with a obviously good mortgage payment history. But when I wanted to rent the whole "must have a current  income" thing was all that mattered. It was weird. And being single (divorced) and not having a job for a few years and in my early 40s who was willing to pay all cash upfront seemed to be a big red flag - even for individual owner landlords. You'd think I would be an ideal tenant but apparently not. Since at that time I was living on cash and had no income just savings, it wasn't accepted. I eventually bought again as renting was too difficult. Now I'm in that same situation again - not enough traditional income outside of savings/investments and wanting to rent elsewhere.

ETA I also had years of zero taxable income so if a landlord wanted to see a 1040 to check previous income that didn't help.

Well spartana, if I decide I want to relocate, I might have to try that living in the van down by the river after all.  lol
And don't forget about all that free government cheese!

Just using the van for shorter trips now as found full time van dwelling wasn't for me. I have a shared place in Calif for now I use as a home base and will keep it until I decide to make a more perm move and stay long term somewhere else.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2019, 12:15:07 AM »
If you would show your landlord what you have in your brokerage account, wouldn't the landlord then be very tempted to increase the rent a lot? I think it would be smart to first look in the contract at how the rent increase is regulated. And then be open about your finances.

In our case when we FIRE, we will sell the home, invest 50% of the money in stock and stock 50% away in a high interest savings account. That last sum should be enough to buy another home, probably the rental itself. I guess we could show the landlord that account and tell that we would need it in due time to buy a home.

By the way, is that smart, to let a landlord know how long you want to rent something? I think we might rent for a year, to try out a new area. But I see now from friends that they were very tempted to buy long before their one year renting contract ran out. Are landlords sceptic towards renting to people who will move out in a year? If we would show we have money enough to buy a home, they can guess we will do that some time soon.

I probably wouldn't mention planning to move in a year.  All other things being equal, if I had two interested parties, I'd go with the one where there was a decent hope of them renting longer.  There's no reason to tell them *why* you have all that money in your account, so I don't really see what you gain from it.  Call it proceeds from a sale if you must say anything, and tell them that after the work of home ownership, you are looking for the ease of renting. 

I'm not sure what you mean about friends being tempted to move out sooner than a year.  If you sign a one year lease, that's not really an option, unless maybe your lease allows for sub-leasing.

I also think my friends cannot break the one year lease without paying a high fine, so I don't fully understand the temptation either. But they like to change things about the house and cannot do so currently. The house is situated along a road with fast driving cars and they are going nuts by the noise from it. The money from their house sale is burning in their account. You pay more wealth tax over cash than over a home for the same price. Norwegain wealth tax rules are in enormous favour towards owning a house that you live in.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2019, 08:08:18 AM »
Maybe this is a location dependent issue. I have a rental in a wealthy area and about a third of applicants have shown bank account statements instead of income verification. It's common and NBD.

spartana

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2019, 08:50:57 AM »
Maybe this is a location dependent issue. I have a rental in a wealthy area and about a third of applicants have shown bank account statements instead of income verification. It's common and NBD.
Now I'm coming to the conclusion it must be something wrong with ME instead of my financials when no one wants to rent to me  lol.

One sidebar question - how do landlords deal with roommate finances (non married). If both of you are going to be on the lease do you both need to qualify individually for the full rent amount or can incomes be combined to qualify?

Villanelle

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Re: Idle question – when I rent
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2019, 07:24:36 PM »
Maybe this is a location dependent issue. I have a rental in a wealthy area and about a third of applicants have shown bank account statements instead of income verification. It's common and NBD.
Now I'm coming to the conclusion it must be something wrong with ME instead of my financials when no one wants to rent to me  lol.

One sidebar question - how do landlords deal with roommate finances (non married). If both of you are going to be on the lease do you both need to qualify individually for the full rent amount or can incomes be combined to qualify?

Many of the places we looked at specified "no more than 2 [or three] incomes to qualify."  I took that to mean that if they needed $100k in income to qualify, you could offer up two or three people to get up to that $100k, if necessary, not that each needed $100k.