How to Find an “A Rated” San Diego Tenant


By Golden West Management

If there was one thing I hear all the time when talking to clients about their important item their property manager pays attention to, it’s finding a great Tenant. And I agree, the key to success with owning rental property in San Diego is knowing how to find an “A Rated” Tenant.

What is an A Rated San Diego tenant?

“A Rated” Tenants have the following tangible characteristics that we as property managers look for when we are screening prospects:

  • Credit Score – All Tenants must have a minimum of a 685 FICO score (or cumulative Average over 700).
  • Income Verification – Tenants have verifiable paystubs (not some word document cut up) showing their gross take home pay is 2.5 times the monthly rent.
  • Rental history verified from previous landlord, with more preference given to prospects who rented from a professional management company.
  • No Felonies of any kinds.

Sadly many San Diego property owners fail at doing the most basic screening required to protect themselves from the next unqualified Tenant.

What if the Tenant isn’t “A Rated”?

Of course not all prospects are going to be “A Rated” on paper, and not all “A Rated” Tenants are a bed of roses. But you have to have some basic guidelines in place before you begin to make calculated exceptions.

  1. Throw “intuition” to the wind. If you search someone’s Facebook to rely on whether they will take care of your home, or if you think that all those nice emails and friendly phone calls are going made you “friends” now you never have to worry about the renting being late is just nonsense.
  2. Don’t ignore red flags: Every time there is a “story” involved, you should immediately run for the hills. People with bad credit can usually some it up in one sentence what happened and it’s enough to move on: “I had a bankruptcy in 09 after I lost my job” or “I have medical collections from 2012 when I was hospitalized for 3 days.”
  3. Utility collections and Evictions: If it shows that they have collections from an Apartment or Utility service, you should not rent to them unless they can show proof of cleared account. This says there is a high probability that they have been evicted or broken a lease which means they won’t have an issue doing it again. Be advised that prospects may have paid back those debts, so ask them to obtain proof from the Apartment or previous landlord.

If a prospect is deficient in one area, then make sure they can make up for it in another. For example, if the Tenant has a foreclosure on their record and their score is in the low 600’s, but they show paying every other basic trade line on time and make a lot more than 2.5 times the rent, you would have grounds for considering them. Perhaps a little extra in deposit, or maybe a few months in advance will be enough to take care of what it would cost to have to evict them ($500 – $1000+).

The goal is to make an educated decision based on the factual background history of the applicant, and not based on “gut feelings” or “good rapport.”

Family Members and Pets

This is most important and something we need have to remind Landlord’s all the time. Just because applicants may have pets or lots of kids (or grandma and grandpa) living with them doesn’t make them a bad prospect.

Pets are a huge part of today’s modern family, and GWM has found that “A Rated” prospects don’t let their pets or children destroy a home. They don’t want the dog or cat peeing on the floors any more than you do. They certainly don’t want little Johnny or Susie coloring on your favorite bedroom walls. Most important, these people have the credit and income that they want to protect…they don’t want to lose their security deposit or wind up in court where there good credit can be ruined for a long time.

What Do You Gain By Hiring A Property Manager?

If you’ve been searching for a Tenant in the wrong places then it’s time to hire GoldenWest Management, Inc to manage your rental property in San Diego.

Benefits of working with us:

  • Complete background checks
    • Tenant credit
    • Criminal record
    • Paystub verification
    • Rental history verification
  • Professional showings of your property (strangers aren’t unaccompanied at your home)
  • Standard operating procedures to deal with Service and Support Animal requests as well as Disability need and fair housing course qualified…you don’t want to have HUD at your door.

Our experienced property management staff is especially efficient at managing single and multi-family properties in San Diego so you can focus on your family, work, or your golf game.

We have over 15 years in property management and have the skills you need to negotiate a landlord friendly lease with new San Diego tenants every time.

Contact GoldenWest Management, Inc

To learn more about how our property management services call GoldenWest Management Inc today by calling us at (858) 792-3442 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.