FAQs Relating To Tenant Selection

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on August 11, 2006 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

As long as landlords screen and vet their prospective tenants in a competent and thorough manner, they can avoid a lot of legal hassles resulting from improper tenant selection.

Ques. What is the best way to screen prospective tenants?

Ans.A thoroughly savvy landlord will always ask prospective tenants to fill out a rental application form, asking for updated information on the following counts:

  1. Employment, income, credit history,
  2. Social security and driving licence numbers,
  3. Past evictions or declared bankruptcies, and
  4. Past and present employer / landlord references.

Before taking on tenants, it is imperative landlords check out their references including past and present landlords / employers, et al. Everything from income, employment and bank account information must be verified, as well as, getting their credit report. A credit report is extremely essential, as it will show whether the concerned individual has a history of paying rent or bills late, or has gone through bankruptcy, or even been convicted of a crime or been evicted.

Ques. Is it legal for a landlord to answer questions relating to tenant credit?

Ans. Often, a landlord may be asked to provide credit information about a current or former tenant. As long as a landlord sticks to the basic facts, such as, whether the tenant paid the rent on time, he / she is allowed to respond to these inquiries. To play it safe, a landlord should ask a tenant to sign a release form that allows him / her to respond to questions about a tenant’s credit worthiness.

Ques. How best can a landlord avoid discrimination lawsuits when selecting a tenant?

Ans.According to fair housing laws, it is considered illegal to reject an applicant or refuse to rent to a tenant on the basis of race, religion, ethnic background, sex, age or because he / she has children or a physical disability. Landlords are free to select their own tenants as long as they comply with fair housing laws.

However, a landlord can reject with impunity prospective tenants, who have a poor credit history, low income insufficient to cover the rent, past mis-behaviour, such as, damaging rental property, in short anything that makes him / her a bad risk.

As well, if the number of people wishing to rent a landlord’s property exceeds the valid occupancy policy, limiting the number of people per rental unit for health or safety reasons, it can be considered a legitimate and legally approved reason for refusing tenancy.

Again, it all comes down to going through a proper selection procedure for would-be-tenants. To avoid any mishaps or unwanted tenants, visit www.e-renter.com for tenant screening and background check services, the best and only way to prevent expensive litigation, later on.

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