I recommended setting up tenant selection criteria on my last blog (Running your rental business: Use established guidelines to clear potential tenants and avoid legal problems). I recommend doing this for several reasons:
- It helps you focus on what kind of renter you are looking for,
- It will let the prospective tenant know what is required, and give them an idea if they should even apply,
- It provides established guidelines that, if consistently followed, will help protect you legally
Even though I use a realtor to help get renters, I still keep an updated Tenant Selection Criteria letter, and make careful notes on why prospective renters are turned down.
Here is a sample letter that I hope will guide you in planning your letter. Be sure to go through the steps that I described before, and see what other local landlords consider important, because laws vary considerably throughout the country and definitely throughout the world! What is legal in my area has nothing to do with yours.
Tenant Selection Criteria
My property or company name
These criteria are being provided in reference to the property located at the following address: 123 Main Street, Our Town
Pursuant to property code X (list yours), these Tenant Selection Criteria are being provided to you. The following constitute grounds upon which the Landlord will be basing the decision to lease the Property to you. If your application is denied based upon information obtained from your credit report, you will be notified.
- Criminal History: Landlord will perform a criminal history check on you to verify the information provided by you on the Lease Application. Landlord’s decision to lease the Property to you may be influenced by the information contained in the report.
- Previous Rental History: Landlord will verify your previous rental history using the information provided by you on the Lease Application. Your failure to provide the requested information, provision of inaccurate information, or information learned upon contacting previous landlords my influence Landlord’s decision to lease the Property to you.
- Current Income: Landlord my ask you to verify your income as stated on your Lease Application. Depending upon the rental amount being asked for the Property, the sufficiency of your income along with the ability to verify the stated income may influence the Landlord’s decision to lease the Property to you.
- Credit History: Landlord will obtain a Credit Reporting Agency report in order to verify your credit history. Landlord’s decision to lease the Property to you may be based upon information obtained from your credit report.
- Failure to Provide Accurate Information in Application: Your failure to provide accurate information in your application or your provision of information that is unverifiable will be considered by Landlord when making decision to lease the Property to you.
- Pets: Dogs or other animals that are commonly deemed dangerous are not permitted.
- Renter’s Insurance: Renter’s Insurance, including liability insurance, is required. Any potential tenant unwilling to guarantee insurance will be rejected.
Tenant Selection Criteria Form: updated on this date