The Basics of Tenant Screening
Your first thought as an owner might be that tenant criteria can be based on what you think the ideal tenant would be. The truth is, once you become an investor and lease your property there are many rules and guidelines that must be followed for tenant screening.
Here are just a few:
- Fair Housing Laws
- Screening criteria that is systematic, specific and that applies to all applicants
- Application Forms that provide the information for each person applying
- Income requirements
- Pet requirements
- Process to collect the fee for the screening process
- Process to pay for the screening process
- Ways to insure financial and personal information collected by applicants is protected from identify theft and fraud
- Adverse Action system for rejecting applicants
- Knowing the latest laws as they relate to criminal history and what can not be used as grounds for declining an applicant
In addition to all of the above, records must be kept for a specific time frame for applicants and tenancy. Tenant screening can be a challenging part of the renting process. Our job is to weed through the crowd using regulations already set in place, fair and consistent processes, and the best tools at our disposal to place qualified tenants.
Each step takes time and patience for all parties. From application to acceptance or denial, expect the process to take from 2 to 4 business days. Gone are the days that an applicant submits a credit score and hopes to pick up keys at the end of the day. Acting in haste can cost thousands in eviction processes, repair bills or high cost renovations.