As of January 1, 2021, landlords can no longer base tenant denial on an applicant's source of income. Another law currently under consideration will prevent landlords from discriminating against overweight individuals. These are examples of some legal dos and don'ts that you should pay attention to as a landlord.
However, there are more than just legal aspects that you should consider. These tips for landlords will help them improve their tenant screening.
Do: Have a Set Process
Create a process for tenant screening. Outline each step and the order in which you will take them.
This ensures you do not skip a step. If you do, you could miss crucial information that could change your opinion of an applicant.
It also ensures you do not open yourself up to discrimination claims. You must treat everyone equally and hold them to the same standards.
You could discriminate and not even know it. The Colorado Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against people during tenant selection. Protected classes under the act include national origin, disability, sex, race, color, religion, and family status.
Create qualification standards that do not automatically eliminate people for being in one of the classes.
Do: Employ Professional Help
Working with a property management company can make the tenant screening process easier. They will market your property to the ideal tenant, screen applicants, and provide feedback on tenant selection.
Don't: Only Follow Your Gut
Using your gut is a good tool but should not be your only method for choosing a tenant. Nefarious people can seem friendly, professional, and responsible. However, your screening process will reveal who they truly are.
If you only follow your gut, you may skip the application process and never find out.
Do: Look at the Whole Application
Do not base your approval of a tenant on a single element, such as their credit score or tenant background check. Only looking at one factor in an application does not give you the whole story. Instead, look at the entire application and learn about the tenant.
That way, you may find a long-term tenant in an applicant with a lower credit score, short work history, or lack of rental history.
Don't: Make Acceptions for Friends and Family
Making acceptions for friends and family is a recipe for disaster. Generally, it is best to avoid renting to friends and family. However, if you choose to, hold them to the same standard as any other applicant.
This will help you avoid the awkward situation of evicting your loved ones.
Improve Your Tenant Screening
To have a pleasant rental experience as a landlord, you must have a solid tenant screening process. You can choose the best tenant while reducing risk by following these dos and don'ts.
Working with PMI Elevation can be the solution you need to optimize your tenant screening. Our experienced property managers can help you create a process and approval standards. We can also help you screen applicants to find the right tenant.
Feel better about your tenant selection when you work with PMI Elevation.