Considering these things will position you to rent and perhaps even buy.

You may know that we help people buy and sell properties, but did you know we also help renters find great places to live? I wanted to talk directly to all the renters in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire markets today and explain what it takes to get placed into a rental. The rental market is very competitive right now, but it’s possible that if you get yourself set up the right way, you can become a buyer or even an investor. Here are the things that you need to have in order to get into a rental in today’s market:

1. Have a sufficient income. You need to have the requisite income to be considered for a rental. Usually, landlords are looking for three times the gross rent.

2. Work on good credit. Landlords are typically looking for good to excellent credit for potential tenants. While many managers, ourselves included, use a system that considers other things, like late payments and debt-to-income ratio, we usually look for scores in the 625 and higher range.

3. Secure references and background checks. References are critical to getting placed in a rental. Prospective landlords will want to see a good history of prior references. In addition, criminal background checks have become a part of the screening process today.

“The rental market is very competitive right now.”

As you can see, it’s important to position yourself in the best light if you’re looking to become a renter today. Having a professional presentation can help you. Make sure that the application is typed and that you fill out all of the documentation. Also, ensure that any letters from your employer, perhaps to verify your income, are on company letterhead. Everything that you can do to make your process look professional is key.

If you aren’t in a position where your presentation is sterling, such as if you have an eviction or less-than-stellar credit, you have some work to do to try and improve your situation. The first thing to do is to work on a demonstrably sufficient income. You want the landlord to feel secure in that you can pay for the property. The second, however, is repairing your credit. We advise potential tenants to acquire a copy of their credit report and take a look at what is holding them back. Often, this is a small bill or a couple of debts that you can easily clean up. You tackle this kind of issue by paying off those bills so the credit bureaus will remove those negative items.

Often we find that the credit requirements necessary for renting are the same requirements for getting an FHA loan. By getting into the position where you are a well-qualified renter, you are also positioning yourself for a future purchase. Remember that there are programs offering tens of thousands of dollars to assist first-time buyers.

If you’re a landlord, we have management services available to you. If you’re a renter, we can help you get placed in a property. Simply call us, and we’d be delighted to work with you.