Screening potential tenants is one of the most important tasks a landlord performs. Thorough screening is vital: It will help you weed out problematic applicants who are unlikely to pay rent on time or who might destroy your property. But the screening process can be fraught with legal pitfalls, too—landlords need to take steps to avoid illegal discrimination and ensure that they follow all laws regarding accepting and rejecting applicants.
How to Screen and Select Tenants FAQ
Check tenants' credit and avoid legal trouble over discrimination.
How Landlords Can Check a Tenant's Credit Report
Private credit reporting agencies collect and sell credit files and other information about consumers.
Choosing Tenants: Avoid Fair Housing Complaints and Lawsuits
Antidiscrimination laws limit the tenants you can accept and reject.
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HUD Guidance Memo on Landlords' Use of Arrest and Conviction Records
Whether and how landlords can use information from an existing or prospective tenant’s criminal history was the subject of an April 3, 2016 “guidance” memo from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).