Rental criteria too strict?

I listed a home for rent last week on facebook. I’ve received over 2,500 view and 300 messages but only 10 applications. I’m assuming my pricing is good because I’ve had so much interest but once people are presented with the requirements in the application they don’t proceed. I’m wondering if I’m being unreasonable with my rental criteria. (Also, those 10 applicants, I’m having a hard time confirming employment and/or rental history so have not found a viable candidate yet).

Below is what I list in the application…

Rental criteria:

  • Gross Monthly Income Amount (can be combined with spouses verified income) = 3 Times Rent
  • Must Be Able To Verify Income with last 2 paystubs
  • Must be employed at your current place of work for at least 1 year.
  • Must have 3 years prior Rental History. Family members do not qualify as rental history or landlords.
  • NO misdemeanors in the last 10 years
  • NO felonies ever
  • NO Previous Evictions

Rental Rules:

  • Pets
    • Maximum Number Of 2 pets Per Mobile Home/Lot
    • UNDER 30 Pounds – At Full Maturity
    • Each Approved Tenant Signs A pet agreement
  • All adults over 18 in the household must apply/pass a background check
  • All occupants must be listed in the application (children, family, partners, roommates, etc). If you do not list all occupants in the application you will automatically be denied.

Not knowing your market, my guess would be the 1 year employment (especially with COVID layoffs) and 3 year non-family rental history would be the two holdups. I’d consider removing those as firm requirements (what if someone lost their job in April and has since found a new one?)

I’ve lightened it to “must show consistent work history” and “must have prior rental history”. I think I’m going to stay firm on my rule of family members do not count as rental history. My rent is affordable for the market as I know not everyone has the resources to make a lot of money but everyone has the opportunity to be a good tenant so I’m using that as a big decision factor.

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Your requirements are strict (as you should) but you are getting a lot of messages, which to means you are likely pricing this too low. Up the rent significantly and let the messages drop to far less, but much more qualified tenants. There you will find the ones that meet your screening procedure. The more qualified tenants usually won’t pick the “cheaper” listings thinking it’s not a good place to live in.

I wouldn’t change the screening criteria unless I wasn’t even getting messages to begin with.


good point, I feel like I’m priced right, lot rent is on the higher end for the area but I do have the home payment a little lower than it could be. I’m priced similar to the 2/1 single family homes in the area but this is a 3/2 mobile home in a community, not quite 1:1 but trying to find the balance.

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Another option, depending on state laws, is increase your deposit and/or require a few months rent upfront. The more people invest up front, the better they will be as tenants…in theory!

a few things here from my experience:

Messages mean nothing - people don’t read the post - they see a pretty picture and click.
10 apps is GREAT. Confirmation tough - yes, always.

The misdemeanors is odd, but ok. We do the no felons thing as well. A friend of ours does No VIOLENT felonies… so that is interesting.

it is that time of year as well — maybe that’s just an excuse on my part…

Bottomline is: It is better to be lonely, than miserable.

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This is interesting – we have an Industrial Park near us - and there’s a big banner out front that says:

HITACHI NOW HIRING - $11.50/hr to start

Let that sink in for just a second. hahahahah. This is a cancer in our society… Not sure how this started, but it is rampant now for sure.

Love this, great advice for all parts of life.

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I know, such a shame that people expect to be rewarded for doing basic things like showing up to work.

The good news is that it isn’t that hard to be well above average today. I told my kids, “Show up on time, care, and be reasonably competent. You’ll move to the head of the class.”


Just reread this, I’ve also updated to “no violent crimes, no felonies”

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Your strict no felonies and misdemeanors will expose you to liability under the new HUD guidelines on criminal background criteria for rental applications. Review and understand that and then change your published criteria.

And just to be clear, there is no statute prohibiting what you are publishing and presumably using, but HUD may take up a rejected applicant’s case and use their criteria as the standard. Their criteria are used by Judges apply to the interpretation of the Fair Housing Act generally, especially in landlord tenant disputes where there is not a lot of caselaw.


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all good points, are you referring to the 2016 guidelines? regarding the criminal requirements resulting in indirect discrimination to a protected class?

Yes. The effect is that you can no longer deny automatically except when the crime relates to drugs or violence, and even then, the violent crime had to be recent.

10 years is a good timeframe because that is the same standard the rules of evidence use to evaluate whether a person is telling the truth if they are a criminal. And all judges know that one.


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what happened on this? did you find someone? I’m just seeing it so I was curious.

I ended up making the criminal language a little more broad (no violent crimes) and then handled it on a case-by-case basis. I didn’t have any applicants with a criminal history so luckily I didn’t have to deal with that scenario.