Tenant screening: A few important dos and don’ts

Tenant background checks are difficult for everyone involved. Most landlords don't want to be too intrusive, but they also want to be thorough enough to ensure that the potential tenant is a good fit for their property.

Realty Biz News recently came out with a list of a few important tips for landlords dealing with tenant screenings.

First, Realty Biz advises landlords to conduct a comprehensive background search of the new tenant. Using a report that includes criminal, credit and eviction screenings will help landlords ensure that they get all of the right information. Also, the applicant should pay for the report – if they want the property, it's their responsibility.

Asking an applicant to fill out a rental application is also a good decision. That way, any information that was not provided in the credit report can be obtained.

Keeping the Fair Housing Act in mind is a must. Using fair standards in screening a tenant and being careful to avoid any touchy subjects is the best option. For example, if a renter asks to see a room near other families of the same religion, landlords should tell them that they can see the rooms that are available and decide for themselves. Even though such a request seems innocuous, it is actually a violation of the Fair Housing Act to rent a room based on religion.