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Renting without a job
Old 07-25-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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Renting without a job

Now that the house is under contract, we need to start looking at a place to live in FL. We will start out renting since neither one of us is employed and we don't yet know our final destination. DH wanted to head to the Orlando area again but it just didn't do it for me when we went back to visit 2 weeks ago while visiting friends in St. Pete. Lots and lots of concrete and congestion. Sensory overload.

I've really gotten used to the wide open spaces out here in corn country and being near water when we visit our St. Pete friends on Boca Ciega Bay. I have been land-locked for many years but I think my Seattle roots are growing again. I think I can stand the concrete if there is wide open water nearby so I'm pushing for something west of Tampa relatively near the Gulf of Mexico which DH has grudgingly agreed with. "You get sun, I get water!"

I got very good feedback from the company in Largo I interviewed with while on vacation and the recruiter says she is waiting for an opening in one of the 4 departments to pop up. Don't know for sure if an offer will come soon (or ever) but I think it would be a good idea to be within convenient commuting distance of the plant since the area meets our requirements otherwise. Not totally ready to make the FIRE commitment yet.

Has anyone experienced trying to rent (either a house or an apartment) while unemployed? We have an excellent credit rating and plenty of savings and I will (as soon as the claim is processed) be receiving unemployment but don't they usually want you to have a job? We won't sign anything until we close on the OH house but we need to start developing some options.

Tips? War stories?
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:54 AM   #2
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I don't have any tips for you regarding renting without a job, but just wanted to pass on a little tidbit I ran across recently. DH and I might be moving to Florida, so I have been reviewing the city-data forums. Several people on there have warned about a growing trend in Florida: private landlords renting out apartments, then going into foreclosure and the rentees having to move. Just an FYI to be cautious if you don't go with a managed apartment complex.
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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Possible tip: I have found that sometimes you can rent a house from the owner even if you don't have a job, whereas big apartment complexes with professional management usually have rules that they have to stick to.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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I would think that "retiree" would be a common situation in FL. I think most would want to be assured that you can pay your rent and utilities, and won't damage the property. Pets may be a bigger concern.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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There was a thread a couple of years ago on this topic. I couldn't find it because there are so many rental threads. Someone said that he was able to rent a city apartment by showing that he could afford to buy the entire building. If I were trying to rent now, of course, I'm old enough that saying I'm retired might be a job equivalent. I looked around a couple of years ago and they now require that applicants submit a current credit report. I would be reluctant to show them my entire PF but might show them one of the larger accounts. In the old days, they asked for savings acct. info.; in that case it might be a good idea to have that acct. loaded up (for bucket plan) and just show them that.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:47 PM   #6
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Possible tip: I have found that sometimes you can rent a house from the owner even if you don't have a job, whereas big apartment complexes with professional management usually have rules that they have to stick to.
This was my thought also but the flipside is the situation described by simple girl. I guess while the landlord is checking my references, I'll be calling his mortgage company checking to see if he is current! The world has changed greatly since I last rented in 1985.

Yes, we have to get a place that will accept shelter kitty too.
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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When we moved to San Antonio from Panama I hadn't had a job in almost three years. They ran a credit report and it was high enough that I didn't need additional documentation. I told them I was self employed and that was it. BTW- This was a property mgt company managing a house not an apartment complex. You could always call a few property managers in the area and ask them what is needed to qualify for a rental. The real estate market might be so bad that landlords/pm are flexible because they need to fill their vacancies.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:10 PM   #8
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We would probably sign a lease with an unemployed person, if their references checked out and they paid several months' rent up front. If the person skips out due to not finding a job, at least we have some of their $$ in hand, while we wait to re-rent.

I edited this to point out that we realize that an unemployed person who is FI, can also show a reliable income stream from pensions, annuities, or whatever. That would be part of reference checking.

In the case of the person who tries to impress by "showing they are able to buy the whole building," a few thousand up front should be no problem, eh?
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:19 PM   #9
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I would think that if someone had sufficient credit and account balances, it might not be a problem for some landlords. An offer to pay several months' rent up front might also persuade some.
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:21 PM   #10
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I rented my apartment from professional management company that manages quite a few units. They wanted to know my income amount, and source and they pulled a credit report. I told them $x, from investment income. No problem encountered.

Of course if I needed to I could have shown them the income, as I manage for dividends rather than the periodic liquidation SWR idea.

Ha
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:13 PM   #11
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I would think that if someone had sufficient credit and account balances, it might not be a problem for some landlords. An offer to pay several months' rent up front might also persuade some.
One thing that I thought was interesting (though it might not be entirely relevant) was my experiences renting an apartment from a property management company back in 2000. This was in a large complex with an on site representative of the property management company.

At the time my credit was a little shaky so when they said they had to check my credit, I offered to pay out the entire 6 month lease on the spot if it didn't pan out. I was told they would not accept that because a person with bad credit might refuse to leave and have to be evicted at the end of the 6 month lease, which would cost them money. Makes no sense to me! Luckily my credit was OK with them so I got the apartment.

I thought that was really bizarre. But then, I am not a landlord (thank goodness).
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:30 PM   #12
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There seems to be a glut of apartments in Florida right now . Every week I see adds offering first month rent free so it may be easy to get a rental .
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:33 PM   #13
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An offer to pay several months' rent up front might also persuade some.
Sure, but what happens if the landlord takes your up-front fee and then skips town or declares BK the next day? You join a long list of unsecured creditors. Or even if not so dire, what if there are problem with the unit? If you've pre-paid, their motivation to fix things may be diminished...
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:48 PM   #14
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Sure, but what happens if the landlord takes your up-front fee and then skips town or declares BK the next day? You join a long list of unsecured creditors. Or even if not so dire, what if there are problem with the unit? If you've pre-paid, their motivation to fix things may be diminished...
Yes, exactly the problem W2R mentioned. I would be very hesitant to give much up front.

I did a little surfing of apartments back in April when we listed and they had some great deals. We are trying to decide whether we can become apartment/condo dwellers, at least for the short term. We were watching House Hunters tonight and the people were looking for a home in Oviedo, the first place we lived when we moved to FL. They were in the $300k plus range (2008 show so hopefully lower now) and the quality, room sizes, and garage sizes made we want to cry when I compare them to our current home.

Sunshine in January. It's only a house. Sunshine in January. It's only a house.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:46 PM   #15
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Sunshine in January. It's only a house. Sunshine in January. It's only a house.
Well, it's only a house, but... but... but... It's a HOUSE!!

OK, I admit that my house is really important to me.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:22 AM   #16
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Sure, but what happens if the landlord takes your up-front fee and then skips town or declares BK the next day? You join a long list of unsecured creditors. Or even if not so dire, what if there are problem with the unit? If you've pre-paid, their motivation to fix things may be diminished...
All true. But we are talking about someone who, without a j*b or other secure documentable income stream, could be negotiating from a position of weakness and may not have as much of an ability to play hardball. It's not a preferred option, but could be a last resort.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:24 AM   #17
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Sunshine in January. It's only a house. Sunshine in January. It's only a house.
And here I am thinking, "Cool in July. Cool in July. Cool in July....."
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 07-26-2009, 08:40 AM   #18
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I emailed the realtor who helped us buy and sell our Oviedo home. We have kept in contact with her for the last 5 years knowing we could be living in her territory again. She's a real pro. Her office also does rentals so she might be able to put in a good word.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #19
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Just as a follow up....

We are renting a 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment in Largo to get started. We are close to the beach and close to the company I interviewed with should an offer come through. We were approved quickly as we only had to pass a credit check and show assets in the bank to cover a year's worth of rent.
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