Tenant's Do's & Dont's

Do's and Don'ts for Tenants Seeking a Rental Home:

  1. Do – Pre-qualify yourself. A good rule of thumb for renters is your gross income should equal or exceed 3 times the rent. This leaves two thirds (2/3) of your income for all those other things like utilities, car payments, credit card, food, clothing, entertainment and hopefully, some savings for the future. Any less money, and you don’t have much left for anything else.

  1. Do – Check your credit. You are entitled to one free credit report per year, per credit reporting agency, or if you have been denied credit. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com on line, phone 1-877-322-8228 or by mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. There is a small fee to get your Credit Score. Following are the phone numbers for the three major credit reporting agencies:

    Experian (TRW): 1-800-682-7654
    Trans Union: 1-800-888-4213
    CBI/EQUIFAX: 1-800-685-1111

    You have certain rights under Federal and State Law with respect to your credit report. If you request a copy of the information in your credit file from any of the consumer reporting agencies above within 60 days of receiving a denial of credit, you are entitled to a free copy of your report. You have the right to directly dispute with the consumer reporting agency the accuracy and completeness of any information furnished by that agency. We look for a Credit Score of 600 or above.
  1. Do - Please bring photo-copies of the following documents: Drivers license;Social Security card; Pay stub and/or other Proof of your Income. If you are self-employed, Copies of the past two (2) years income tax returns and the last six bank statements. All of the above information must be included when you submit the rental application. We require your gross monthly income to be at least three (3) times the rent amount.

  1. Do - If you have filed bankruptcy or had a foreclosure or Short Sale, or your Credit Score is below 600 but above 500, we require a full two (2) years from discharge or an amount equal to two (2) months rent as a Security Deposit.

  1. Do – Discuss if you have PETS before the showing. We will require photos and vet records of all pets with application, and there are certain restrictions regarding pets.

  1. Do – Buy a map if you are not familiar with the area and drive by the property first and check the location and neighborhood yourself before making an appointment to view it. The available rentals posted on this website or on our info flyers posted at each property will give the address and directions to the property at the end of the description.

  1. Don't - Ask if the neighborhood is good or safe. Property Managers and owners cannot answer that question because of potential discrimination liability. Either call the local police department, or go to these websites for information: www.state.md.us orwww.sailor.lib.md.us

  1. Don't - lie about a bad situation. The truth will work in your favor - there are some Property Managers and owners that are more liberal than others in understanding and working with problems.

  1. Do - If you live out of town use someone that can look at the property for you. Perhaps a relative, friend or employer. Rental applications approved "sight unseen" are binding unless the application is subject to or contingent upon your inspection. Properties will continue to be offered for rent until the application is firm.

  1. Don't - Say that you are desperate and must have a rental now, or show up at the showing in a U-Haul truck. It may suggest that you have been evicted.  It takes time to process the application.  If the application is complete, it shouldn't take more than 1 to 3 days.