I have some advice for anyone interested in renting a home with less then stellar credit in a very tight rental market in San Diego. Don't get discouraged and automatically think the agent/owner will reject you if there are alot of prospects. Smile, be sincere, be yourself AND:
1. Be punctual. When I think of tardiness I think LATE(rent).
2. Be honest. Explain to the agent (or owner) that you have had a past bankruptcy, credit issue etc. and bring proof of it. One of my best tenants brought a "discharged" bankruptcy form with her when she came to see the home I had for rent. She explained she did some dumb things when she was younger. I rented the home to her and she was never late with the rent and it was immaculate when she left. She turned out to be one of my best tenants in the San Diego rental market.
3. Bring a copy of your credit report, phone #'s of your employer, copy of your driver's license etc. ANYTHING that will make filling out the application easier. Blank spaces left on applications, and even illegible applications have been tossed by me, when I have 10 other prospects. It shows lack of respect or fear of disclosure.
4. Be polite and non-confrontational! Leave your bad attitude at home.No owner wants to deal with a disgruntled tenant from day #1. What will the tenancy be like in 3 months?
5. Wear clean clothing. Casual is fine but neatness is important. The owner will assume if you show up in tattered clothing, that is the way the apt. will look when you live there.
6. Watch your language. Profanity is not acceptable and most owners will be turned off.
7. Don't be afraid to follow up if you have not heard from the owner. Expressing your enthusiasm about a house in the San Diego rental market always helps:("we have always wanted a pool and this is one of the loveliest I have seen" or "I love the kitchen, we enjoy cooking"). I like to choose tenants who LOVE the property. Passion is contagious.
8. Don't badmouth your present landlord. The San Diego rental market is a tight community and word gets around.
9. Don't leave your checkbook at home. The one with the check for the application fee or first month's rent is always seen as a more serious tenant.
Remember, you are going on an "interview" and first impressions are lasting. Put your best foot forward and I bet you that home you want in the San Diego rental market will be yours.