At some point or another in a person’s lifetime, there are some rather major bumps in the road. From a financial perspective, it can be a loss of a job, an extended illness or a costly divorce. A consumer may have pristine credit over the years when a catastrophic event occurs then all the hard workleasing to applicants damaged credit establishing a solid credit profile is ruined.

Borrowers are taught at an early age to be responsible with credit and creditors help craft that approach by slowly increasing credit lines based upon previous payment activity. When a consumer applies for a credit card, uses it then makes the payments before the due date, soon the creditor will increase the line, often without the borrower asking for it.

Yet no matter how carefully someone can manage their financial affairs, bad things happen. Income is gone, savings zapped and creditors begin calling, wondering why the person isn’t paying as in the past. Consumers who find themselves in such a quandary often feel as if there’s nothing they can do. They can’t get more credit because of their credit history but the only way to re-establish credit is to be approved somewhere. There are companies who cater to the subprime credit market from finance companies to in-house lenders who will take a chance on a consumer and offset the risk with higher fees. As a landlord, could you take a similar approach?

If you own multiple properties or even just one, an individual needing a place to live will fill out a lease and provide a credit report. A not-so-good credit report. Should you automatically turn down the application? Maybe not if you’re having difficulty renting one of your units. To offset the risk, ask for a larger down payment, increase the rent, shorten the lease to six months or even ask for six months’ worth of rent in advance.

None of these risk-adjusting strategies should apply if the applicant is nothing more than a lifelong deadbeat. But if the potential renter can document what happened to them and how they’ve recovered, they demand attention. You just might be the one who helped someone get back on their feet. Carefully, of course, but we all need a little help now and then, don’t we?