Frequently asked questions regarding the application process:

Why must I have a social security number to apply to rent a property?

Your good credit history is the assurance that you provide the owner that you will be reliable in paying rent and caring for the property. That credit history is tied to your social security number. 

What about someone coming to work in the United States from another country for a specific assignment?

We have rented properties in such situations. Applicants may provide work papers, a passport, a contact from their originating country. Such applicants may be asked to pay a higher security deposit. 

Do you base acceptance of applicants on a specific FICO score?

Yes, we ask that every tenant have a credit score more than 620. However, every tenant, like every property, is different. There may be reasons someone has a low FICO score while being an excellent prospective tenant. All criteria are taken into consideration and are presented to the owner of the property for approval. 

Will you rent to us even if we have a bankruptcy?

We are often able to work with people who have bankruptcies, depending on the date filed, status of filing, cause of the bankruptcy and credit history since the bankruptcy. If someone with a bankruptcy is approved, they may be required to pay a higher security deposit than advertised.

Why was I asked to pay a higher security deposit than what was listed in the ad?

The security deposit is a tenant's way of offering a kind of guarantee to the owner of the property that they intend to take care of the property and pay rent on time. When there are situations that make a tenant a higher credit risk, a higher security deposit may be allowed instead of simply denying the application. The more the credit risk, the higher the deposit asked. A higher deposit is also required when there are pets involved. 

Why won't you rent to someone who has been evicted?

The eviction process is lengthy and costly. There are times when a tenant suffers circumstances that cause them to need to leave a property (sudden inability to pay the rent, massive damage to the property, bringing pets to a no-pet property, etc). They always have the option of vacating the property prior to causing the legal process of unlawful detainer, better known as eviction. If a tenant remains in the property and forces the owner/landlord/property manager to go through the eviction process once, they are more likely to allow that to happen again. 

Why do you charge a non refundable tenant screening fee?

There are far more expenses incurred in processing an application that the application fee covers. The cost of running the credit report, obtaining the FICO score, checking past and present rental references and past and present employment references, checking for evictions, bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and even the validity of the social security number. Many reports have a hard cost, and making telephone calls and sending and receiving emails and faxes all take time and cost money. Smart Choice Realty does not accept a comprehensive reusable tenant screening report.

Do you accept more than one application for the same property at a time?

We usually ask the first person who expresses interest in the rental property to sign an Agreement to Enter Into A Lease and pay the security deposit. This means as long as the person qualifies for tenancy we have agreed to rent to them. However, w e will accept as many applications for the same property as people want to apply but we won’t run the tenant screening unless they can be considered in first position.  We always disclose to anyone who is not the first applicant that we are already processing an application so that they may decide if they want to compete for the property.