Selecting and screening tenants is as important a skill for landlords as buying or managing a rental house. Bad tenants who trash a flat or depart without paying rent are unavoidable, but in trying to sort out the terrible applicants out of the great, if it looks like the screening process is based on race or religion, the landlord remains in trouble. Selecting tenants has to be performed, but it has to be done lawfully.
Before interviewing tenants, landlords should know just what choice criteria are legal. Federal law, ” the Nolo legal site says, forbids refusing someone an apartment because of his race, religion, national origin, gender, age, familial status, or physical or mental disability, including people with previous drug or alcohol issues. State and local governments might have additional restrictions: In California, as an instance, landlords may refuse a tenant because of his physical appearance or sexual orientation.
Valid selection policies are those based on income, credit or the number of people of the apartment. Landlords can ask tenants about their income, employment, rental history, credit as well as the names of everyone who will be residing in the apartment, according to the Fair Housing of Sonoma County organization.
Landlords can and should have a look at a prospective tenant’s rental history, the Austin Tenants’ Council states. After obtaining references from the renter, the landlord should speak to three or two previous landlords and discover if she made late rent payments, damaged the house, disturbed the neighbors, as well as why she left and if the landlord would rent to her again. Landlords will also be legally entitled to earn a credit check on applicants.
Landlords aren’t required to rent to somebody who will not have the ability to pay. The selection process should include questions about the tenant’s income and employment, and the landlord should follow up by contacting the company and confirming the truth. Realty Times recommends that landlords take two or three times to conduct a comprehensive investigation.
Whatever the landlord’s selection process, it has to be consistent with all tenants, Nolo states. A landlord that requests specific questions or checks employment advice just for minority tenants are breaking the law. Similarly, giving one renter a rest on the security deposit could direct the other tenants to waive the landlord of discrimination.