Like filling a position for a job, a landlord must follow federal and state laws when filling an apartment vacancy at a rental property. The perfect tenant is a rare breed, but landlords can follow certain practices in ensure he is making the right choice. The trick is making the right choice and staying compliant with laws at the same time. Apartment rental is a business and should always be treated like a business no matter how small the residential property is. Whether a landlord is filling an apartment vacancy above a garage or at a city high-rise, he should practice the following when selecting a new tenant.
Credit check, background check, check, check, check. For a minimal fee, a landlord can conduct a credit check. Here a landlord can find out how the applicant keeps up with his credit payments and if he is responsible for a large dept or not. A large dept is an alarm that the applicant may have trouble with making rent payments. Overall, you can check the applicants credit history. References allow the landlord to contact formal landlords, verify job status, and check income and bank account information. Do not let anyone slide through the credit and background check process. If a landlord just gets a credit report from applicants who seem fishy, the landlord may be in for a surprise at the end of the month.
It is not personal. It is just business. This is why the credit and background check is very important. A landlord is legally allowed to choose and reject an applicant based on legitimate criteria. Personal decisions may get the landlord into legal trouble and then he will have a negative rating on his background check. Landlords are allowed to make decisions based on credit history, income, and past behavior at a former property rental. This information tells the landlord if the applicant is a bad risk or not. Do not use judgment based on personal beliefs. A landlord may be surprised to find his apartment rental in disrepair after using his own judgment.
Understand the facts, Jack. Adding to his repertoire of being a jack of all trades, a landlord must understand the fair housing laws. These laws make it clear that a landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on race, religion, national origin, gender, age, familial status, and physical or mental disability. This also goes for the discrimination based on marital status and *** orientation. If a landlord is accused of discrimination, not only will he face legal trouble, he will face public embarrassment from the community as well.
Treat everyone the same. A landlord is violating federal laws and welcoming lawsuits if he does not treat all prospective tenants as equals. For instance, if a landlord runs a credit and background check on one applicant and not on another, he is discriminating even if the prospective tenants are the same race, religion, sex, etc. Or, if a landlord gives a tenant special treatment such as more time to pay rent for a single mother but not for other tenants, the landlord risks a discrimination charge from the other tenants.
Running a rental property is like any other business. A landlord must follow the same rules and laws, but in a sense has it tougher because his customers are always around. A landlord is also responsible for his employees actions, so he must make sure they are fully aware of the rules and regulations too.
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