What It Takes To Rent These Days

Here's a quick and depressing glimpse into the current local rental market.

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent in the above letter, which was slipped under the door of every unit in his rent-controlled building near Haight and Fillmore recently.

It reads:

"The building policy/requirement of a current apartment applicant/resident is that they are able to establish that their minimum annual income is at least $100,000 - additionally required is a minimum FICO credit score of 725. 

"We are not able to accept in our minimum income calculation any form of 'guarantor' or similar form of 'guarantee' offered of account of the apartment/resident applicant, by a friend of family member nor any other person or legal entity.

'Of course, more is required to qualify an apartment/resident/applicant, than income and credit score; but a minimum income and credit score requirement is a basic starting point."

Our tipster is unsure what provoked this letter, but suspects the landlord might be trying to "make life hard on a few people that have been fighting building management."  

While minimum income and credit score requirements such as these are legal, it's striking that a six-figure salary is now required just to meet the minimum standard for a rental in the neighborhood.  For reference, the average credit score in SF is somewhere in the 680 range, and the median household income is about $74,000, according to recent stats.

So, if you make at least $100K and have a sterling credit history, congrats: you just might be able to live in the Lower Haight.   Although we shudder to think what  "of course, more is required" might mean... 

Update 5/6/2014, 3:40pm: The landlord has now retracted his letter.  Full story here.