The selection process needs to be fair and complete. It’s an area where fair housing laws are very strict. When you’re selecting tenants and there are multiple applications, you need to prove there is no element of discrimination except the qualifying criteria you have applied to everyone.
Collecting a Deposit
After the screening process, notify the tenant of your approval and get your deposit to hold right away. Don’t take the house off the market in the hopes that they will enter into a contract with you. In our case, we give the approved tenants 24 hours to come in and bring their deposit in a secure form like a cashier’s check or bank check. We then get the lease signed right away. That way you know you’re done with the process and you have the security deposit.
Have a valid lease. The rental agreement needs to be legal and comprehensive. If something was to go wrong and you need to go to court to evict the tenant or get resolution to a disagreement, you want to make sure that your document is valid and that the court will side with you in any dispute with the tenant. There are several groups that can help. The Rental Housing Network in Santa Clara County can help you with forms. One really valuable form they have is a known valid rental agreement. They are also a group that empowers you to get credit reports. They can be very helpful when you’re managing your own property, so make sure you use all the resources they have available.
If you have any questions about what you need to do when you’re selecting a tenant, please contact us at Aborn Properties.