We got a lot of cosigner guarantors because a) we asked for them, and b) because they added backup to the applicant’s promise to fulfill the terms of the lease. We found collecting from the cosigner after move out was often easier than collecting from the tenant who left owing a balance. Often we got an employer, parent, sweetheart, partner or relative to back the applicant and agree that if they left owing money, the co-signer would make good on their promise. It’s amazing how a threatening letter or two wakes them up and they pay the bill left behind by the tenant. Owners are grateful when you do a great job for them and are pleased when they see you go the extra mile to protect them.
Everyone knows managers Must Strive For Objectivity when approving/denying applicants but few have wrestled through the process of actually Putting It All Down In Writing … a document called Qualifying Guidelines.
For over our 35 years managing rentals in Atlanta we actually took the time to develop (and tweak for many years) the details of How To Treat All Applicants The Same to reduce the chances of a claim of discrimination. We make this document available to our students along with several of other tools for making these decisions Objectively and Safely.
Note: In 35 years, processing over 20,000 applications, Crown never had a Fair Housing claim. Clearly part of that is blind luck but the other part is consistently applying these written guidelines to all applicants, the same way, every time. Most of this happened before tenant screening companies were available so we learned how to do it in-house (codeword for By-The-Seat-Of-Our-Pants). These qualifying guidelines are the result of 25 years of perfecting the process.