One question I get quite often from potential clients is why they don’t get to approve applications on their rental property. Why can’t I see the credit report and decide if the applicant is a good fit for my property? Why don’t I have the final say?
There’s actually quite a few reasons for this, some easy, and some a little complicated.
- You’re hiring a property management company for their expertise, which should include having a heavy screening process, and choosing qualified applicants for your rental property. A good property management company will conduct a thorough credit and background check, verify employment history, and verify rental references. They do all of this due diligence so that you don’t have to.
- To remain in compliance with Fair Housing Laws, property management companies need to have rental criteria that remains the same for each and every applicant. They can’t require Person A to have a 600 credit score, and then require Person B to have a 700 credit score. Nor can they change their rental criteria for different houses in different areas.
- It actually protects the landlord from potential Fair Housing Violations, which can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Let’s say I share information on the applicant with the owner. The rental owner then looks them up on social media and finds that they’re friends with someone the owner doesn’t like. So, the owner declines them, even though they meet all of our rental criteria. This person happens to be a protected class. That person feels that they were treated unfairly, and they file a Fair Housing Complaint with both the rental property manager and the owner.
- We aren’t credit reporters. Most of the time, the property manager has an agreement with the credit service provider to not share the report. In sharing the report with someone other than the applicant, that essentially makes the property manager a credit reporter, which is not allowed.
Our rental criteria is firmly established, and listed on our website. Go see: Requirements and Leasing . We understand that a property owner wouldn’t want to blindly give us control of approving their tenant without knowing what our criteria is. Once we show landlords our process, and our criteria, there’s really no need for them to question why we approve a certain individual.
Now, if your rental property management company doesn’t have established rental criteria that they can share with you, then you may want to look elsewhere for property management services. Like us!