No credit check rentals -- what's the deal?
July 12, 2007 1:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm househunting (for rent) and sometimes I'll see on Craigslist a place that says "no credit check / no security deposit", even for fairly nice looking houses. This seems like it would attract all the deadbeat renters who can't get approved elsewhere. Why would a landlord/mgmt company risk losses on the house this way? Should I be extra alert when dealing with such a listing?
posted by antipasta_explosion to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Credit checks generally cost between $25 and $50 in my experience. I would imagine they prefer not to pay this cost, or in the case of forcing the applicant to pay, potentially run the risk of scaring off renters.

It may be, however, that they simply rent to anyone, in which case I would be alert to the possibility of sharing the building with some deadbeats.
posted by OpinioNate at 1:48 PM on July 12, 2007

They could also be looking for recently relocated people or foreign nationals who may be good renters but do not have a paper trail to show for it.
posted by crazycanuck at 2:26 PM on July 12, 2007

In my city, there are a lot of rentals on the market, because real estate is still relatively affordable, and everyone is buying. There are also a lot of illegal immigrants, many of whom have done well for themselves, and have the desire to move their families up to better digs.

The out-of-state speculators who bought up all the McMansions four years ago are desperately trying to fill them, there's a huge target market that would prefer discretion, hence these no-questions-asked ads.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:32 PM on July 12, 2007

Hmm, I'm not a deadbeat, and I tend to move places without a required security deposit. And no credit check means less hassle and not having to pay that $30 they charge. So, more people show up (deadbeats and non-deadbeat lazy people who like to hold on to their money like myself), and then they have to use intuition to pick out someone good. (Still, I have wondered the same thing, specifically about the "no credit check" part.)
posted by salvia at 3:20 PM on July 12, 2007

Where I live both of those things are illegal, so maybe they're just saying they are on the up and up.
posted by furtive at 3:38 PM on July 12, 2007

I'm under the impression that there are so many exceptions to the rule (foreign tech workers with no credit history, for example) that these checks just aren't especially useful in obtaining good renters, but they are a hassle and a disincentive to some potentially good renters.

I suspect you'll find the difference is in the landlord - one property, first time renting it out, there will be all the checks. Multiple properties, years of experience renting them out, landlord more inclined to trust their own judgement and less inclined to jump through hoops of nebulous usefulness.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:48 PM on July 12, 2007

I would verify that the landlord actually owns the property or is the authorized manager of the property. There have been cases in the Seattle area where individuals think they are renting a property, pay first and last month's rent and security deposit, and then find out that the" landlord" doesn't even own the property and is a scam artist.

Many years ago a good friend had lived in a rental for three years and was served an eviction notice by the landlord's bank. The landlord stopped making payments and the bank foreclosed. The eviction notice was when my friend found out about the situation.
posted by slowstarter at 10:58 PM on July 12, 2007

Doesn't your credit score lower a little with every credit check?
posted by SassHat at 9:47 PM on July 14, 2007

« Older Chevron with Techron worth it?   |   Short-notice parking violations? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.