Tenant Screening Tips to Remember For Your Colorado Springs Rental

Landlord Essentials

Tenants make or break a property management experience. Choose the wrong ones and they could wreak havoc on your property and your sanity. But how do you avoid nightmare tenants? While you can’t screen for everything, having a thorough and reliable tenant screening process helps you weed out tenants who may not be a good fit for your rental home. To help you build out that process, here are a few tenant screening tips to consider!

Tenant screening

Tenant Screening Tips

Know the Laws

Perhaps the biggest mistake DIY landlords make aside from not screening tenants at all is failing to understand and follow the laws surrounding tenant screening. There are federal, state, and sometimes local laws that landlords need to follow when screening tenants. The biggest to keep in mind is Fair Housing Laws, at both the federal and state levels, to avoid discrimination. Many states, Colorado included, have their own set of protected classes in addition to the federal ones. Make sure to review what those are and keep your procedures and approval criteria up to date to align with those requirements. Some laws govern application fees, approval criteria, and other important parts of the application process. Be sure to know them all and contact a real estate attorney for further clarification if you’re unsure of what’s expected of you under these laws.

Approval Criteria Across the Board

Tacking on to the law part of proper tenant screening, it’s also important to have the same screening and approval criteria for all applicants. Picking and choosing which aspects of your process apply to certain applicants will land you with a Fair Housing violation. For that reason, it’s important to set a specific set of requirements for approval and stick to them. Don’t change your criteria to suit certain prospects, and if you decline one applicant for one reason but not another for the same issue, you could wind up in hot water.

Background Check Essentials

Many DIY landlords forget the importance of running a proper background check. A thorough tenant screening process should include a credit, criminal, rental history, and eviction check. Your criminal check should also search on a national level, not just local, to ensure there aren’t any red flags across state lines. You should also complete a background check on every adult living in the home, not just those who will act as the primary lessee. This ensures that everyone living in the home meets the same approval criteria regardless of who will make the rent payments.

Proper tenant screening protects you as a landlord and your property. For that reason, it’s extremely important to do it correctly. And while you can’t screen for everything, checking what you can helps to find qualified tenants who could turn into long-term residents. Don’t skimp on screening!

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