Here at Real Property Management Wasatch we try to find the very best tenants for our owners. Not only does screening protect the owner, but it also protects the tenant from being discriminated against, according to the Fair Housing Laws.
The Fair Housing Act states, “The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale or financing of housing on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, familial status and disability. Many areas of the country are additionally subject to state and local fair housing laws that may expand upon, but not diminish, the federal statute. Tenant screening, an aspect of rental housing, is subject to all fair housing legislation.”
There are four crucial steps to verify while screening tenants:
1. Rental/Mortgage History- Verification of current and/or previous residences, (a minimum of 6 months history is required). We will research a maximum of 5 years in order to determine whether or not applicants will be good tenants. No applicants will be accepted with a rental eviction record. An applicant who has an unresolved debt with a previous landlord and does not have a payment arrangement set up will not be approved.
2. Employment/Income- Verification of current employment. Or, finding a verifiable source of income (retirement/social security/disability/etc.). The combined monthly gross income of all applicants must equal at least three times the monthly rent amount.
3. Credit History- It is mandatory that we run a credit check on all our tenants. We will request a comprehensive credit report from a credit reporting agency. Any medical judgments or collections will not be taken into consideration. Bankruptcy will be allowed if the judgment has been fully discharged. If a tenant has any collection accounts with a public utility company they will be denied. A tenant may be approved with a low credit score of 525 or below with one or more of the following stipulations: $50/month increase in rent and /or last month’s rent paid upfront and/or an extra amount of a refundable security deposit (amount is determined by one of our property managers).
4. Criminal History- AKA our background check. An applicant will automatically be denied if convicted of a felony in the past four years, or any felony/misdemeanor convictions involving violent crime (sex offender, rape, etc.) or the manufacturing/distribution of a controlled substance.
Wikipedia defines tenant screening as, “A process used primarily by residential landlords and property managers to evaluate prospective tenants. The purpose is to assess the likelihood the tenant will fulfill the terms of the lease or rental agreement. The process culminates in a decision as to whether to approve the applicant approve the applicant conditionally (such as requiring an increased deposit or cosigner) or deny tenancy.”
If a perspective tenant passes our tenant check and falls under these guidelines we will approve them. It is always our goal to find the perfectly matched tenants for our owners. We will strive to find someone who is responsible, clean and mindful of the owners’ property.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.