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I did once and never again. If someone has great income but lousy credit all it means is they make enough money but will have no intention of actually paying you. I work with a guy who makes 120k a year but can never make rent because he thinks taking the family to Disney is more important. My tenants had great references too but I am sure they were mostly fake. That being said if someone had a foreclosure, especially if it was a strategic one, I would not be upset about that, if it was the only thing on their credit. I would actually see that as a good thing. They most likely have enough money to pay the rent but will not be buying anything soon, so they are going to stay put if they get a good deal.
I was helping a friend of mine, who recently went to work with me, find an apartment or house to rent. I asked a couple of property managers about all the foreclosures and they all said the same thing. They were worried about ability to pay and the types of things on your credit report but not really the actual number. Like I said before I would actually feel a forclosure or short sale, if that was the only major thing on the report, would be a good thing as far as a prospective tenant. If someone just moved to the area, had a great job and great credit I think they would be very unlikely to stay very long. Most likely they are just feeling out the area before they want to buy. Another thing I found out about being a landlord is being a nice guy just does not cut it. I gave my tenants a good deal and way too lax when it came to them paying me. My one tenant basically told me that they were trying to keep their credit score up and I was basically last on the list to get paid. She did not say it exactly like that but that was pretty much what she implied. If I am ever in that position again I will write up a much better contract and stick to it, with no leeway. If I would have done that from the begining I would not of had nearly as many problems.
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