The New Look of Tenant Screening
According to Real Property Management Chicago Edge, tenant screening for Chicago is about to take on a whole new look. Whether you think of screening as a tool to protect yourself and your investment or as a dreaded part of being a property manager, it is absolutely critical for your success and safety.
Since background checks are performed for protection, there are several key factors your screening should include:
- Income (after taxes) is 3X the monthly rent
- Credit is clear of collections and evictions
- Positive references from past landlords
- Verifiable employment history
- Criminal history is checked
Even as a DIY landlord, it is important to establish clear rules for who you will and will not accept and stick to them. Tenants with a rough past often avoid renting from property management companies because of the stricter guidelines for qualification, however, if you are going to be completely fair (and lawful) in your requirements and avoid complaints, you must treat everyone equally by asking the same questions and not bending the rules for one person and not others. Chicago investment property owners need to remember: it’s not personal, it’s business.
The next time you screen a tenant and are wondering about the screening process, remember that you are allowed to reject tenants with: bad credit history, insufficient income to meet the rent demands, previous damage to other units, consistent late rent payments, poor job history. You cannot, however, reject an application for discriminatory reasons including: race, religion, nationality, gender, age, disability status, and/or familial status. Acting as a businessman instead of an emotional one will leave you with a better reputation as a Chicago investment property owner.
The key to successful property management is consistency. Consistency in who you rent to, what questions you ask, and the screening process you put each tenant through will allow you to avoid possible lawsuits and Fair Housing Act laws.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.