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Accepting a tenant or not


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I'm still pretty new to this whole landlord thing. One of my units has been empty going on 3 months now. I have a family interested but they currently live with family so I have no previous landlord to call. Their income is self employment and social security.  The husband has some pretty serious stuff on his criminal from 15 to 20 years ago but he was honest about it before I did a background check. He said they are struggling to find a place because of his background and they need someone to take a chance on them. I'm just wondering what other landlords would do in my shoes right now. Take a chance because I should fill the unit? Or turn them down because of the background check and the lack of income they can show me? 

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Hi there,  @SBH

The federal law actually updated to say that unless you can prove that the criminal background directly causes you loss of income, you should be accpeting.  See the resource guide "HUD Guide on Criminal Backgrounds".    If they have income....reference check is clean...and you ran the full background check to see their collections and credit score.....if that all passes then you might consider approving.  I would dig deep and complete all checks full to make sure they can afford and don't leave balances with other landlords.


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I felt bad for them but I did not end up accepting them. I was willing to look past the background check but then some other red flags popped up. Once he went into a little more detail about the rental property they lived at before their daughters home it just didn't add up. Then they couldn't prove they had sufficient income because of the self employment so I just decided it wasn't worth the risk. Thank you both for your responses.  

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