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Qualifying for a place to rent?

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  • Qualifying for a place to rent?

    I have been living with two roommates, one of which is a caregiver of mine, but they have decided to move out of state which I cannot do for various reasons. So now I'm faced with the challenge of finding an apartment to rent somewhere in the Tampa area. I have rented apartments on my own before, for long periods of time with no issues, but things seem to have changed since I last rented on my own back in 2008. I'm running into an income requirement with every place I checked. My monthly income consists of Social Security Disability and Workers Compensation payments. I can easily handle a monthly rent of around $1300 yet I come up short, typically by a sizable amount, when it comes to income requirements.

    I've never been late on rent wherever I lived (when I rented on my own) and I have a credit score of 810 and I've managed to put a lot of money away, little by little, into a savings account over the years, among other things. Yet it seems my options are extremely limited now.

    Does anybody have any suggestions and what I might do?

    C4-C5 Quad since 9/15/85

  • #2
    Can you stay in your current apartment and find new roommates/attendants?

    Does your income meet the requirements of eligibility for Section 8 (HUD) housing? In many areas there are long waiting lists, so be aware of this.

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets income limits that determine eligibility for assisted housing programs including the Public Housing, Section 8 project-based, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Section 202 housing for the elderly, and Section 811 housing for persons with disabilities programs. HUD develops income limits based on Median Family Income estimates and Fair Market Rent area definitions for each metropolitan area, parts of some metropolitan areas, and each non-metropolitan county.

    You can get more information from your local ILC or from this website:

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


    • Yor
      Yor commented
      Editing a comment
      Staying where I currently am and finding new roommates/caregivers is sort of my "if nothing else” option. This house has some issues and I don't like this area but if I had to stay another year I would.

      I have been aware of the Section 8 possibility but I haven't been seriously considering going that route. That link you shared is very useful so thank you very much for posting that. This is an option I might have to consider so that's a big help.

      Since my initial post I've discovered that there are other ways to convince prospective landlords and apartment complexes of my viability as a tenant. Aside from a great credit score and perfect rental history I'm fortunate to have healthy bank accounts due to investments and so forth. It seems like once they get a peek at those they change their tune really quickly regarding "income requirements”. So kind of like funklab suggested below there are certainly other ways to convince people but you have to speak up about these types of things and emphasize them.

      I did a virtual walk-through with a nice place in a great location yesterday and they were really accommodating once they saw proof of some of these things. They don't know about availability in August quite yet (they said they will in a few weeks) but I could actually apply for and get one of their units for a July move in right now. That's quite a turnaround after it initially looked like they wanted nothing to do with me. And there's now a second-place that looks like they would take me but it just depends on what's available in August which they don't quite know yet.

      So I suppose the moral of the story is don't be shy about offering up other incentives that you may have to offer as a tenant.

  • #3
    The last few times I moved I’ve noticed lots of rental decisions have been deferred to computer algorithms that you can’t negotiate or reason with.

    If you find a place you like that has a more traditional land lord and who makes the decision to rent a place to someone themselves, just offer a bigger down payment.

    Ive done this several times in the past when I either had a very low income or my income was off the books so I couldn’t show a W2.

    Usually if you offer 3 or 4 months rent as a deposit they’re not too worried about your income. Worst case scenario for them they have to evict you, which might take up to 90 days around here, but then they can apply your deposit to unpaid rent and they lose nothing.


    • Yor
      Yor commented
      Editing a comment
      See above for my comments about new developments. But basically I "made them an offer they can't refuse”, much like you are describing. However I did not think of offering three or four months rent as a deposit, which would be no problem for me, so thanks for the suggestion. I'm still technically looking as I wait to see if two places have units that open up in August so this negotiating tactic might come in handy. :-)

  • #4
    Even with you income with a credit score like that you shouldn’t have to much a problem but again even with great credit if they see ur income is just enough to cover rent they will pass on you