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  1. #1
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    Default Credit Scores and Renting

    Ive seen many questions here about renting.

    Here is one that I havent seen being asked yet:

    How important is the credit rating when looking to rent an apartment and how long does it take to get one? Is it a one day thing, a 5 day event or can it be like NYC where you can wait up to a month?

    I understand that one of the answers will be "it depends" but im asking for the most part.

  2. #2
    Gus
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    I'd say it depends on the landlord and the type of apartment you are renting.

    Apartments in South Beach that are owned by 1 person don't seem to care what your credit score is, or even if you have a job for that matter. What's important to them is, do you have the cash (usually first, last, and security) to rent.

    I would imagine rentals in Brickell or building owned by a property management company would be more strict when scrutinizing your credit report.

    Overall, checking a tenants credit doesn't seem to be as big of a deal here than in some of the other cities I've rented.

    Another good thing about renting in Miami - landlords seem to expect to negotiate the rent, or the terms of the lease.

  3. #3
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    My experience (not in Miami), is that they charge you the renter $25 or $35 for a credit report, which they get immediately. If the lessor wants to do some background checking he may call your place of employment and confirm some basic info. I doubt they can give out your salary unless you agree to release that info. Usually all they give out is confirmation of your title/position and time in employment. Some people ask to have details of who/where you rented previously and they just might contact them and see what type of a renter you were, i.e. problematic, noisey, pay late, etc...

  4. #4
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    You are right, flyingman.

    I was never asked to present an authorization to get a credit report. But when I moved to a condo on West Ave. and 13th St. in South Beach, they asked me one.

    My credit rating is not so good, but they didn't consider that a problem.

    Kastetx, in my case I never waited more than 20 days for the apartments that I moved in.

  5. #5
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    Renting an apartment or condo in Miami usually requires a credit-check. This is typically covered by an application fee. In apartments (building with one owner) this fee is usually $35 to $50. When renting a condo (unit owned by an individual) this fee varies. Typically there is a $100 to $150 application fee which will cover a background check and credit check. Condo associations want to know who is moving in to their building so this is unavoidable. Unless you are a deadbeat or a convicted felon, you should have no problem being approved.

  6. #6
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    Well, a "Deadbeat" can mean many things but my definition would not include a college-grad with debt. Such a candidate typically has a very low credit score and some missed payments.

    Im sure people here were in a similar situation.

    Anybody care to share?

  7. #7
    Gus
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    Quote Originally Posted by kastetx
    Well, a "Deadbeat" can mean many things but my definition would not include a college-grad with debt. Such a candidate typically has a very low credit score and some missed payments.
    My situation was much worse...

    I filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Some people might call that being a "deadbeat".

    Even after filing, I never ran into a problem renting a place.

    To help repair my credit, I was advised to keep copies of all my rent payments that I paid by check.

    It only took me a few years to repair my credit and raise my credit score.

    I wouldn't worry about a few late payments.

  8. #8
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    Well, for the record, a bankruptcy that was completed over 12 months ago is sometimes not as bad as a poor active credit rating.

    Bankruptcies over 3 years old are discounted and 7+ years are not even mentioned.

  9. #9
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    I guess I used "dead beat" too loosely. I have yet to see anyone denied by the application process in condo buildings.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    I rent from a private landlord in South Beach, who's been in the business for about 30 years. He approved my application without running a credit check or even bothering to call the references. The cash seemed to be the bottom line....

  11. #11
    Suzanne C
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    You probably hit the nail on the head Doug.

    It's all about the benjamins!!!

    As a whole, individuals will probably be more open to lackadaisical, if any, credit checks vs management companies and the like but I figure that right about now, with the OBSCENE amounts of empty apartments, landlords in GENERAL can't really afford to be too choosy anyway.

    I can only imagine that with tons of listings, 'no credit check' is bound to start showing up as an amenity...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Right, Suzy! My only concern is being able to get some of those Benjamins back when I move!

  13. #13
    Gus
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    Funny you should mention that, Doug. Michelle and I had trouble getting our landlord to return our security deposit when we left our old place. Thankfully, Michelle was able to convince our evil landlord to change her evil ways.

    We learned a lot about what to do and not to do when renting a place.

    I'll ask Michelle to share the story about how she got our deposit back.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Sounds like it would be a useful story. Of course, I guess having a job where your opinions and observations are seen the world over probably helps! :)

  15. #15
    Suzanne C
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    You mean Michelle pointed out a little something called

    THE LAW

    to that crazy lady!

    Doug, not sure if it's city/county/statewide, but there is a law requiring landlords to notify their tenants in writing within a specific time period of their moving, if he or she intends to make any damage claims against your deposit.

    If they don't, they have no claim to the funds!

  16. #16
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    The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs is who oversees landlord tenant issues. The Landlord Tenant Act specifically discusses procedure for getting/keeping security deposits. Here is Dept. of Ag site link: http://www.800helpfla.com/newsletter/2005/082005.html

  17. #17
    Gus
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    Welcome to Miami Beach 411, ILoveSoFla.

    Thanks for posting the link!

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