Author Topic: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?  (Read 1321 times)

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Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« on: July 20, 2020, 12:18:38 AM »
Weíre in the process of divorcing, and are about to move out to put our Bay Area house on the market. Iím very low income by Bay Area standards (nowhere near enough to qualify for the rentals Iím looking at), and while the formal agreement with former husband will include some child support and spousal support, it isnít done yet. On the plus side, my credit score is at least 800, and I could show a little over $1m in separate assets (I.e., in my name only) not including home equity. Would you rent to me? Or, would it be reasonable to have my husband co-sign (if he agrees)? Which would you as landlord more likely agree to?
Thanks for your thoughts.

secondcor521

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2020, 12:34:55 AM »
I would rent to you, yes.

I would not recommend having your STBX co-sign.  You're apparently trying to separate your lives, not keep them entangled.  Plus, I don't think you need to.

When I went through my divorce, I was actually not employed at the time (I had decided to take a severance package and go back to graduate school).  I absent-mindedly went to get an apartment, and the apartment manager got to the "How are you going to pay rent?" question and it took a minute for it to sink in that without a job it was reasonable for them to be suspicious of my ability to pay rent.

After a bit of discussion, I realized I'd be paying rent from savings, and so all they needed me to do was prove I had enough in savings to pay the rent for the entire six month lease term.  They were happy with a few printouts of recent online statements.

Unless six months or a year of rent is more than $1M (!), then I think you'll be fine.

Sorry to hear about your divorce.  It's rough.  It gets better with time.

SwordGuy

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2020, 10:05:37 AM »
I would rent to you, yes.

I would not recommend having your STBX co-sign.  You're apparently trying to separate your lives, not keep them entangled.  Plus, I don't think you need to.

When I went through my divorce, I was actually not employed at the time (I had decided to take a severance package and go back to graduate school).  I absent-mindedly went to get an apartment, and the apartment manager got to the "How are you going to pay rent?" question and it took a minute for it to sink in that without a job it was reasonable for them to be suspicious of my ability to pay rent.

After a bit of discussion, I realized I'd be paying rent from savings, and so all they needed me to do was prove I had enough in savings to pay the rent for the entire six month lease term.  They were happy with a few printouts of recent online statements.

Unless six months or a year of rent is more than $1M (!), then I think you'll be fine.

Sorry to hear about your divorce.  It's rough.  It gets better with time.

If your assets include a large amount in IRAs or 401Ks or the like, I would definitely rent to you.   There are contribution limits so you don't get high balances in those kinds of accounts without consistent financial discipline over many years.    Ditto if the money had been in those accounts for a goodly while.  (Recent lottery winners frequently blow thru money really fast, but if they are renting a fairly inexpensive place, it means they aren't going spend-crazy.)


FINate

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2020, 12:41:21 PM »
I don't think you'll have any problem finding someone willing to rent to you. In fact, I think you'll likely have landlords falling over themselves to sign a lease with you.

The Bay Area rental market has changed dramatically over the last 5 months. Many people broke leases after realizing they can work remotely through at least the end of 2020, maybe longer. Most universities will be on-line only this coming academic year, so students are understandably staying home and saving money living with their parent(s). And landlords are looking at the prospect of prolonged eviction moratoriums due to COVID-19 hardship and a very long period of 15 months to pay back back-rent.

You're coming in with $1M+ in assets, plus more from home equity, and a great credit score. This is highly atypical, in a good way, as far as renters go. You're a godsend to a property owner facing the potential of non-payment or an unfilled vacancy for the next 12-18 months.

So look around for a good deal and negotiate hard. If possible compare different cities/neighborhoods. The Bay Area is big and diverse, and suburban areas with yards are in high demand right now. You may find better deals on apartments/small units in the city.

Bring a printout of a recent statement and credit report when you meet with prospective landlords.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 12:44:28 PM by FINate »

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2020, 09:06:43 PM »
I wouldn't rent to you. As a landlord in my jurisdiction, evicting a tenant takes a lot of time and effort, as does enforcing any sort of judgment. I get that you have a lot of assets that you'd be able to liquidate to pay rent, but that relies on you playing the game in good faith and I'm not prepared in a tenant-friendly jurisdiction to have that level of faith in tenants.

I only rent to families that have a good income history and that I think have something to lose (besides inconvenience, or the threat of a judgment debt) if I were to threaten eviction.

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2020, 09:54:37 PM »
Thanks yíall! Interesting range of responses! I *think* itíll work out ok - Iíve got a fancy graduate degree and a professional license, and certainly look (and am) responsible - between that and the money in the bank I figure Iím a decent bet.

unpolloloco

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 11:45:38 AM »
I wouldn't rent to you. As a landlord in my jurisdiction, evicting a tenant takes a lot of time and effort, as does enforcing any sort of judgment. I get that you have a lot of assets that you'd be able to liquidate to pay rent, but that relies on you playing the game in good faith and I'm not prepared in a tenant-friendly jurisdiction to have that level of faith in tenants.

I only rent to families that have a good income history and that I think have something to lose (besides inconvenience, or the threat of a judgment debt) if I were to threaten eviction.

Careful about that...this could open you up to a familial status discrimination suit...

trollwithamustache

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2020, 12:10:51 PM »
Make a good first impression when you show up to view the apartment, ie look like a professional. My Bay Area experience is all outside of SF proper, but no one seems to look very closely at the rental app info, they seem to just look at the credit report? No one called any references or landlord references our last move.

Goldielocks

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2020, 02:51:12 PM »
I brought a copy of my credit report with me, in the Greater Bay area.  What professional LL really look at is -- income vs rent, past evictions, credit report, no Section 8.     There is very little else that they can disqualify a tenant on, really.

The listing Property Management agency  (mid size company) really liked that I gave them the credit report copy.   I have no idea why they did not suspect it was faked, but they accepted it.

The income thing is a challenge, for certain.  Hopefully you can talk around it / show the savings, etc.

ETA:  Also, some of the larger / professional management companies know that if they even waive one of those requirements for one person, and not another, it could be cause for a discrimination claim, which is sometimes why they won't go there.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 01:06:12 PM by Goldielocks »

spartana

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2020, 10:09:35 PM »
There was a similar discussion here not too long ago and I think the general consensus was that "yes" most landlords would rent to someone in your situation. However the lower income vs. rent could be a problem if you are dealing with larger companies or complexes rather than individual private landlords. Most often require income be a certain amount of rent (monthly income must be 3 times the monthly rent seems common). So that may leave you out even with high assets. I'm one of the FIREd people who had trouble renting because I found most landlords were very resistant to rent based on investment income alone. Especially when that income was low compared to the amount of rent.

ETA link to other thread: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/new-tenant/
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 10:21:58 PM by spartana »

spartana

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2020, 10:15:38 PM »
I wouldn't rent to you. As a landlord in my jurisdiction, evicting a tenant takes a lot of time and effort, as does enforcing any sort of judgment. I get that you have a lot of assets that you'd be able to liquidate to pay rent, but that relies on you playing the game in good faith and I'm not prepared in a tenant-friendly jurisdiction to have that level of faith in tenants.

I only rent to families that have a good income history and that I think have something to lose (besides inconvenience, or the threat of a judgment debt) if I were to threaten eviction.

Careful about that...this could open you up to a familial status discrimination suit...
Bloop Bloop isn't in the US so maybe they don't have the same anti-discrimination laws the US has.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2020, 12:00:35 AM »
It's not discrimination if I prefer tenants for whom an eviction would mean multiple household members being inconvenienced rather than just one person. It just so happens that nuclear families are the most common household.

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2020, 05:10:39 AM »
It's not discrimination if I prefer tenants for whom an eviction would mean multiple household members being inconvenienced rather than just one person. It just so happens that nuclear families are the most common household.

Jesus youíre awful, just awful. She said she has children. Doesnít that count as a family or is it only a family with a husband, wife and 2.5 kids? Sheíd be lucky to not have you as a landlord. Just awful.

OP, yes, lots will rent to you. Youíll be ok. The divorce wonít define you and wonít make your life worse. Youíre strong and youíll get through this. All the best.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2020, 06:27:22 AM »
It's not discrimination if I prefer tenants for whom an eviction would mean multiple household members being inconvenienced rather than just one person. It just so happens that nuclear families are the most common household.

Jesus youíre awful, just awful. She said she has children. Doesnít that count as a family or is it only a family with a husband, wife and 2.5 kids? Sheíd be lucky to not have you as a landlord. Just awful.

OP, yes, lots will rent to you. Youíll be ok. The divorce wonít define you and wonít make your life worse. Youíre strong and youíll get through this. All the best.

OP didn't say anything about children living with her at the rental?

I think you're taking this more personally than is required. I live in a state where I have almost no recourse if a tenant wants to screw me over. I'm obviously going to gravitate towards the tenants that have the most to lose.

calimom

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2020, 08:57:32 PM »
It's not discrimination if I prefer tenants for whom an eviction would mean multiple household members being inconvenienced rather than just one person. It just so happens that nuclear families are the most common household.

Jesus youíre awful, just awful. She said she has children. Doesnít that count as a family or is it only a family with a husband, wife and 2.5 kids? Sheíd be lucky to not have you as a landlord. Just awful.

OP, yes, lots will rent to you. Youíll be ok. The divorce wonít define you and wonít make your life worse. Youíre strong and youíll get through this. All the best.

OP didn't say anything about children living with her at the rental?

I think you're taking this more personally than is required. I live in a state where I have almost no recourse if a tenant wants to screw me over. I'm obviously going to gravitate towards the tenants that have the most to lose.

In her origninal  post  the OP said she will receive chlid support,  whiich not would would be awarded  unless their minor children lived with them, at  least half  of the time, if  not more.

Yes, OP, given  your  FICO, your steady employment,  your income from child/spousal support as well as your assets, you'd make  a desirable tenant.  Writing a  separate letter to attach to your application helps too.

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2020, 10:28:10 PM »
Ok, thanks all. Slightly different question:
Iíve been self-employed for 20 years, working part-time while raising kids. As stated above, I will also be receiving child support and spousal support, for at least the length of the one-year lease. Would it be reasonable to simply put down my total income as the actual self-employed amount plus the child/Spousal support? It would be the truth, in the sense that it is the total income Iíll be receiving? Or list them out separately? Will I need to show my schedule C to document self-employed income? Will I need to show a document proving child/spousal support?

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2020, 03:32:44 PM »
Ok, thanks all. Slightly different question:
Iíve been self-employed for 20 years, working part-time while raising kids. As stated above, I will also be receiving child support and spousal support, for at least the length of the one-year lease. Would it be reasonable to simply put down my total income as the actual self-employed amount plus the child/Spousal support? It would be the truth, in the sense that it is the total income Iíll be receiving? Or list them out separately? Will I need to show my schedule C to document self-employed income? Will I need to show a document proving child/spousal support?
I don't know the answers to the support questions, so sorry I can't help you there, but someone will be able to.

I just wanted to mention that I'd probably look for "mom & pop" type landlords. Prepare for the process by having a copy of your credit report, recent bank statement(s) (show them where the money is), and a generic, but completely filled out rental application form that you downloaded from the internet. Those three things will help you get past the gatekeepers, especially if it's not a corporation. Landlords want people who pay on time, take care of the property, are quiet, and stay long term. Convince them of that and you're well on your way to your next home.

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2020, 07:27:29 PM »
For your income questions, it is best to separately list all incomes.  I would be prepared to show recent deposits/bank statements of any self employed work through covid, and 2019 schedule C.
Income stability is the latest priority because covid has shown us that previously solid jobs are not sustainable going forward, at least in the near term.  Since you have money in savings be prepared to show that too, it can go a long way with getting qualified.

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2020, 03:32:30 PM »
Ok, thanks all. Slightly different question:
Iíve been self-employed for 20 years, working part-time while raising kids. As stated above, I will also be receiving child support and spousal support, for at least the length of the one-year lease. Would it be reasonable to simply put down my total income as the actual self-employed amount plus the child/Spousal support? It would be the truth, in the sense that it is the total income Iíll be receiving? Or list them out separately? Will I need to show my schedule C to document self-employed income? Will I need to show a document proving child/spousal support?
Here, you can put down spousal support and sometimes child support, but you need to show the agreement / court document.
If you don't have that yet, it will be harder to get the landlord to recognize it.   The other issue is that landlords are aware that sometimes ex's don't pay up like they are supposed to.

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2020, 08:58:55 AM »
While the lease isnít signed yet, it looks like I found a rental that Iím pleased with, and the landlord is sending me the lease to review today! This was all outside of SF proper. I probably looked at 12-14 places. The first 2 that I applied for and really wanted, I didnít get. In one case, I asked the agent what the deciding factor was, and she said my electric car (there was no outlet outside, so Iíd have to run a cord inside or have an electrician add an outlet.) After that, I stopped mentioning my electric car, when it was clear I could make it work one way or another, and would be paying for the electricity.

2 landlords offered to rent to me, but the first I had to let go because it wasnít ideally located for my kid. I do think it was helpful to list out all my income and assets (the income from which I listed as part of the income.) Neither of the landlords who offered to rent requested to see documentation of that - I think my clean background check, credit check, and what can be found out about me online made me look trustworthy (which I am.)

It was notable how wide a range of places were available in the same cost range. Some were downright depressing - at least one I almost fled. The ones I liked best were typically priced a little below the market, and had a lot of interested tenants. I think it helped that I saw them as soon as they came available - I was the first prospective tenant in each case, and was able to chat with the actual owner during the showing (there was no listing agent in either case.)

Thanks for your help! (Fingers crossed that I didnít speak too soon! Excited to move on.)

Dicey

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Re: Would you rent to me (semi-fired, divorcing, Bay Area)?
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2020, 09:02:35 AM »
Fingers crossed.