Now that 2015 is here it is important to ensure that the process you follow for tenant verification is the correct one. You have to protect yourself and your interests when it comes to renting a property to a tenant.
Working as a successful landlord requires you to complete certain steps as part of the tenant verification process. The first thing you need is a plan that is clear and consistent. Having a written record of your plan protects your interests as a landlord as well as your tenant’s interest. You will need to follow this plan step by step every time you rent to a new tenant.
Prepare and laminate a list of the pieces of information you will require from each tenant you rent to. It is important that the same pieces of information are acquired consistently otherwise you could be accused of favoritism or discrimination.
While you’re at it don’t forget that you always have to comply with the law when performing tenant verification. The 1968 Civil Rights Act states that you cannot discriminate against tenants based on race, religion, sexual orientation or origin. It is important to ensure that the questions you ask your tenants as part of the screening process have nothing to do with those criteria. In addition you will want to be familiar with the laws in your individual state regarding tenant verification.
Your tenant verification plan needs to cover all grounds. This should include an investigation into whether or not they have a history of committing crimes. It should also include a credit check which will tell you how likely the tenant is to be able to pay their rent on time as well as whether or not they have ever perpetuated or been the victim of identity theft.
In the event that the result of tenant verification is that you refuse to rent to them you must provide them with a valid reason why you won’t. This needs to be done in the form of an official letter on professional looking stationary. You are required to give the rejected tenant the contact information of the company you used for their background check. The reason for this is that the individual will then have the right to dispute the information the company gave you that led you to deny their rental application.
This is the tenant verification process that should be followed for 2015 and beyond.