Picking the right tenants for your rental property can be an arduous task, but rejecting an application can be even more complicated if you don’t know the law. In fact, one of the most common mistakes beginner landlords make is accidentally going against the Fair Housing Act and getting into legal trouble. To ensure that you comply with the law when looking at potential tenants, know these legal reasons to reject a rental application.
Poor Rental History
If the potential applicant has a poor rental history, you are within your legal right to reject the application. While you need to perform background checks with consent, it is a good idea to investigate the rental history of a potential tenant. If you notice that they have a history of evictions or unpaid balances, it may be wise to reject their application. A renter with a poor rental history may end up causing you to lose money and can be more trouble than they’re worth.
Bad Credit or Income To Rent Ratio
If you notice that a potential tenant doesn’t have a sufficient income to afford rent, you can deny their application. They may not even be able to meet the security deposit, depending on the demands of your property. You can also reject an applicant due to the status of their credit. However, you must provide the minimum credit score required for your property before a potential tenant applies.
When performing background checks, it’s wise to cross-reference the information you find with their application. If you notice that any of the applicant’s information is false and not just accidentally miswritten, you can reject their application. Renters may try to twist the truth in their favor. However, you’re allowed to reject their application if you notice this.
While these are just a few legal reasons to reject a rental application, many more exist as state and local laws vary from place to place. Always check the laws in your area or speak with a local property manager to ensure you’re within your legal rights when rejecting an applicant.