The phrase discrimination is often used in a negative light, however, here's an analysis for a second. To discriminate simply means to choose which of available options is preferable. In respect to tenant screening, a landlord is forbidden by the federal housing laws to discriminate a tenant bases on religion, race, national origin, family status, age, physical or psychological impairment and gender. Therefore, with all those aspects off the table, this begs the question: is there anything that a property manager or a landlord is permitted to single out prospective tenants against? A resounding yes is the answer. Read on for more insight.
Property managers from a place like Verse Property Group can legally discriminate against tenants based on:
In some states, landlords are forbidden from discriminating against the source of income of the potential tenant. However, you can discriminate against the total sum of income. If a prospective applicant is not earning enough money to meet the screening requirements, you can disqualify them as long as you use the same criterion to all applicants.
Even the most faithful tenants can go through a bad experience in their lives and suddenly start to act like complete lunatics. Imagine a scenario where a tenant disappears without a word, only to come back almost 3 months later with some flimsy excuses. To avoid such occurrence, property managers should insist that all applicants provide contacts, preferably of their family members, so that they can be traced whenever something occurs. Failure to locate a missing tenant translates into lost monthly rental income. Therefore discriminating against applicants who are not willing to show you their close ties is not only permissible, it's absolutely wise.
You should not automatically discriminate against an applicant with a criminal record because some individuals still face the consequences of something they committed several years ago and have not done it again. However, if a potential tenant boasts of a criminal record, a dreadful reference from a former landlord, and appears suspicious and panicky during the screening process, those are telltale signs of trouble lying ahead. Furthermore, bad habits like excessive drinking, smoking, cooking methanol among others also make an applicant unfit to lease a house to, and it's the responsibility of a property manager to detect such habits before they turn into a nightmare. The ideal time to engage in that is prior to letting the applicant append their signature to the lease contract. Therefore, property managers should exploit the application as well as the screening process to bring to light any potential destructive behaviour of prospective applicants.