Understanding Renter Scores: a guide to renter ratings and how to use them

When you list your property with AffordableHousing.com you’ll start receiving ‘applications’ from potential tenants or applicants. These are pre-screening forms filled out by the applicant with details you’ll want to know. 

Above and beyond the form questions, AffordableHousing.com also provides a Renter Score on every application.

The Renter Score is a numerical representation of your applicant’s fit for your property, calculated based on the applicant’s:

  • ability to pay your requested rent
  • current interest level
  • fit for your property (including family size)
  • and other financial factors including voucher information when applicable. 
Renter Scores make it easy for you to identify the best renters quickly.

Here’s what you need to know about renter ratings and how to read them:

What is a good Renter Score?

Renter scores range from 0 to 100 - the higher the renter rating, the better match the applicant is for your property. Generally, a score of 80 or above is considered good, while a score of 90 or above is considered excellent. Applicants with an unusually high score of 95 or above represent about 5% of all applicants.  

What factors affect an applicant’s Renter Score?

There are several factors that can impact an applicant’s Renter Score, and scores can change daily.  

  • Income: The renter’s stated income, including all income form family members living in the household.  
  • Voucher Eligibility and Status: Voucher Eligibility has a significant impact on the overall renter score. Voucher Eligibility determines the likelihood of a section 8 renter being able to qualify for your requested rent based on numerous factors including: The local Housing Agency’s payment standards, the cost of utilities, family size, household income, and more. 
  • Motivation Level: An applicant’s motivation level is an indication of their willingness to rent your property at a current point in time. Motivation levels are an excellent way to understand if an applicant is still interested in your rental property or if they have moved on.  Motivation levels are updated daily and are the most common reason a Renter Score can change. 
  • Property fit: Property fit considers the applicant’s preferred housing size and type, derived from their search behavior, and compares it to your rental property. Property fit is an important factor when an applicant has a section 8 voucher since significant deviations in bedroom size from voucher size are typically prohibited.     

What is a Rent Price Match and how is it calculated?

The Renter Price Match is a helpful way to glean if an applicant is applying to a rental property they believe to be affordable.  Similar to property fit, but focusing on rent price, the Renter Price Match indicator considers the applicant’s preferred rent, based on their search behavior, and compares it to your rental property’s asking rent.  

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