There are many people who still think that because they own the property, they are entitled to any decision that they may take regarding their property. However, this mindset has landed a lot of property owners in legal trouble and at times even cost them money in terms of judgment and liens. It is important to take time and study the rights of the tenant before you start making demands. Here are the basic rights of tenants.
Freedom from harassment and illegal eviction
An inexperienced landlord may imagine that defaulting in rent payment means that you immediately evict the tenant. This is wrong and illegal. The client is supposed to get at least a 3 month notice to vacate the premises. Also, in many states, they will not be harassed to pay the rent by the landlord. As a landlord, failure to respect this rule could lead to the tenant taking legal action. When this happens, you are likely to lose the chance to recover the unit in time and this will lead to loss of rental income. Instead of using confrontations to throw out tenants who are disobedient, you need to try negotiations. Keep an open line of communication with the renter. Let them know that their actions are affecting your business in a negative manner and this could get you a more amicable resolution.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to get into a rental without paying a certain amount as the deposit. The law that was passed and came into effect on the first of April 2013 states that any deposit paid after that date should be protected in one of the three tenancy deposit schemes approved by social services. This means that the landlord doesn’t get to keep this money, unless you have caused damages in the rental unit and he has to repair or replace some of the ruined parts.
Notice to quit and due process
Just as you are not supposed to be evicted illegally, the rights of tenants dictate that if you wish to leave the premises, you have to give at least a month’s notice to the landlord. During this time, they will help inspect all aspects of your house and ensure all damages that occurred during your tenancy have been fixed. This time will also help them look for another client so that they aren’t left with an empty house, something that causes losses to the tenants.
Tenancy health check
When you start the second month of tenancy, it is important to ensure that you check all the documents that the landlord has issued. If there are any that are missing, ask the landlord to provide them. Remember that these documents are what are going to protect you when the time comes for you to move on, regardless of the circumstances. These and other rights of tenants should be at your fingertips to avoid complicating your stay as a tenant.
There are many people that are running rental real estate property but still do not understand the benefits that they can achieve by simply allowing professionals to investigate clients for them before taking them in. nowadays, in addition to the companies, there is even software that is very useful when it comes figuring out whether a certain person is fit to be your renter or not. Here are some of the things that you need to know about using tenant screening software.
There are 5 basic questions that you need to ask your tenants before issuing them the lease papers. This means that if you will use tenant screening services software, you have to make sure that these questions are part of the integral process of checking if the person qualifies to be your renter.
- Ask why they are moving
It is very important to ask the reason that has prompted the client to move. Of course there are genuine moving reasons like the need for a bigger space for accommodation because of an expanding family, change of work place, end of a lease at the old house and need to be closer to a spouse. On the other hand, if reasons such as disagreement with previous landlord or fellow renters are listed, ensure that the software gets to the depth of the nature of the disagreement. This is to eliminate the possibility that the particular renter is one of those individuals with choleric personalities that make it difficult to live with other people.
- Their monthly income
In normal circumstances, a person’s rent should not be more than 30 percent of their monthly income. For instance, a person earning 3000 dollars per month should not pay more than 900 dollars monthly in rent. If the tenant is earning an income that is lower than their capacity to pay rent and other bills, it means that they will form a habit of being late with the rent on a regular basis. It also means that in case they come across another challenge that needs their finances, they are susceptible to stopping the payments altogether, which will lead to losses on your side. The problem with defaulters is that the law does protect them and at times, this could cause you losses.
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- Whether they can give references from other landlords
This is the ultimate test of a god tenant. If the renter feels free telling you about their current residence and the landlord they are under at the moment. A client that has had a certain type of disagreement with their current landlord will find it very difficult to give their name as a reference. When they give you the reference, ensure you follow up and find out more. This is how the tenant screening software can help you get better quality tenants.
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Every wise landlord knows that you do not let people into your premises without figuring out exactly who they are. The problem with the process followed in getting these details is that it is not always as accurate as some service providers claim it is. When hiring a professional to perform tenant verification, you should ensure that the following specific details are part of the report you will receive from the process.
When most companies are looking into the credit reference of prospective clients, they rarely go into all the details. They simply check for a good enough score and everything is deemed okay from that point onwards. However, the following things should be part of a comprehensive financial report.
- Their current and previous trades.
- Their score
- Credits that have been granted and honored.
- The legal issues they have been engaged in including bankruptcies.
- Deceased SSN check.
Demand for nothing less than comprehensive tenant verification with all the details that have been listed here. This will give you the complete picture of the tenant’s financial state.
The major issue that happens here is that most of the information that is given on a person’s criminal record is never verified. Also, most companies only concentrate the search on a local perspective and not nationally.
- Felonies and misdemeanors that the clients have committed.
- Incarcerations and probations.
- Traffic records.
- Wants, warrants and arrests.
- State wide searches.
- Eviction fillings
These are some of the aspects of the tenant’s legal records that you should insist on from the company helping you with the tenant verification.
Information about a prospective client’s current address is very important in figuring out what type of person they will be. The following details should be part of the search on the client’s current address.
- The address itself.
- The type of housing situation the person is occupying at the moment.
- Current issues, if any, with the landlord.
- Judgment and lien records.
This information is important to determine whether the tenant is responsible or not. For instance, if a client lied about their current address, you will start wondering what could have led to the lie and if there is information that they are hiding. Also, in cases where they have judgment and liens, it could en indicator that the person is aggressively litigious and this is not always a good thing for you as a landlord.
These are the specific details to look into when performing tenant verification service. It is very important to ensure that the company has evidence to back of all of their records because otherwise you could get into some serious legal trouble with the client.
As a landlord, you will want to know whether the person you are about to rent out your property to is able to pay the rent before letting them in. One of the most convenient ways to do this is by conducting tenant referencing exercise. This exercise will need you to look into details such as the credit scores of the tenant in question and other related financial records. However, it is important to note that you as a landlord aren’t allowed full access to whatever records you feel that you need from a client. When conducting the check, you have to comply with the FCRA’s set regulations.
FCRA compliance basics
FCRA stands for Fair Credit Reporting Act. This is a set of laws set aside to ensure that even as employers and landlords investigate the financial backgrounds of their tenants, they are not using the information acquired to the disadvantage of a client, and especially not in a discriminatory way. Below are the basics of FCRA compliance:
- Permissible purpose: This means that you have to have a valid reason why you want the tenant referencing services. When requesting for the information, state clearly that the person is trying to rent a unit at your premises. Failure to do this can land you into serious legal problems and even cost you money and precious time going in and out of law courts.
- Disclosure: It is important that the tenants know that getting their financial records checked will be a requirement in order to get the house. This will give them the freedom either to agree to the search or disagree. Conducting the search without their knowledge could have far reaching legal implications.
- Authorization: Before you delve into a client’s personal finances records, it is important to ensure that you and the company performing the tenant referencing services have the right authorization. This authorization should be attained from the customer and should state that you have the freedom to attain their consumer report from time to time. This will help you keep track of the client’s financial affairs and when they run into problems with their finances, you will know how to minimize your own losses.
- The adverse action procedure: In case after finishing the search, you decide that the tenant is not good enough to merit your housing, you will not just hand them the denial papers. Make sure that you inform them about the background research that led to your decision, detailing the name, address and location. Give the client about 5 days to contact the screening company and if they have a dispute, to have it settled. In case the person goes away quietly, you can proceed with other applications. In case they dispute, the investigating company will have to repeat the tenant referencing procedure within 30 days.