While most of your potential tenants will have a rental history there is none when you are dealing with first time renters. Some landlords are hesitant to rent to tenants who have never been one before, but it is not ethically right to deny someone a rental property simply because they have no history. Everyone needs to start somewhere and understanding landlords can help make that happen.
Though your tenant may have never rented property before chances are they at least have a credit card. In lieu of a rental history you can use their credit history to determine how much of a risk they are to rent to. Along with the credit report you’ll want to obtain your first time renter’s employment verification as well. If they are new to their job you can always request a reference from their employer as this will also help you determine if you want to rent to them. In the event that your first time renter’s income isn’t quite as high as you would like it to be it is acceptable to require them to have a co-signer before you will rent to them.
When you are performing tenant verification on a student or recent graduate it is also acceptable to request a transcript from their college. This will help you confirm that they did in fact graduate, or that their grades are high enough that they seem to be a desirable tenant. In the case of a college student you also have the option of requesting references from one or more of their professors.
One thing that many landlords do to first time renters is require them to pay a higher security deposit than someone with a rental history would have to. However, it is important to make sure that if you choose this option you are not charging them too much, as some states put a limit on the amount of the security deposit you can charge any tenant.
Though renting to someone with no rental history requires you to handle the situation slightly differently than you would otherwise, you will be more likely to find quality tenants if you keep an open mind during the verification process.