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How to Screen Rental Property Tenants

Screening tenants is an important part of the property management process. Tenants are the lifeblood of any building and a group of great tenants can make a building not only a great place to live, but a profitable venture for an investor. On the same token, a troublesome tenant can bring down everyone's experience so it's important to take the right steps to find a good fit for each unit.

Bray Property Management has a comprehensive tenant screening program that not only checks every available aspect of an applicant, but is in compliance with all Fair Housing laws and Colorado Real Estate Commission Laws.

The Application Process

Bray Property Management evaluates each application individually. We perform a preliminary screening to make sure the applicant qualifies for the unit that is being applied for. If the initial screening is passed, we send the information to an independent screening company which will collect the applicant's credit report, criminal history, employment history, and rental references.

The Screening Process

The screening process at Bray Property Management begins with our first contact with a prospective tenant. Whether they call, email, or stop by in person we begin by assessing what their needs are and determining if we can fulfill them. We discuss our initial requirements such as rents, security deposits, and history to help determine if we are a good match. At that point, we encourage the prospective tenant to fill out an application so we can begin the application process.

Qualifying for a Unit at Bray Property Management

To qualify for a unit, we recommend that applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Income. Monthly income must be 2 1/2 times the monthly rent, or 2 times for affordable housing communities.
  • Employment.  Applicants must have one full year of employment immediately preceding the application.
  • Rental History. References from at least two prior landlords.
  • Credit History. Recent bankruptcies along with late payments, unpaid collections, or other unpaid accounts are not acceptable.
  • Criminal History. Applicants that have been convicted of a felony are subject to denial based on governmental restrictions.
  • Age. Applicants should be at least 18 years of age, and applicants under 21 should require a Guarantor.
  • Guarantors. If any of the above criteria are not met, or if an applicant is a full-time student, they may qualify if a parent or guardian guarantees the lease as long as the guarantor meets all the criteria.

Other Screening Considerations

Owners can choose whether or not to allow smokers, pet owners, or college students as they are not protected classes. Bray Property Management only accepts pets if the owner has agreed to allow them, and has determined what the terms will be. We recommend a nonrefundable pet fee to help cover the costs of cleanup and repairs after a tenant and their pet moves out.

Screening applicants is as much about protecting potential tenants as it is about protecting the investors and current residents. We don't want applicants to find out that they cannot afford a unit they have leased, or that their pets are not welcome after it's too late. The Bray Property Management screening process is extensive, but upon acceptance the applicant will be welcomed to enjoy their new home and the investor can breathe easy knowing that a quality tenant is helping to make their property a great place to live.

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