TIP OF THE MONTH - March 2012

Choosing Tenants-Your Most Important Decision

Source: Leases & Rental Agreements
       By: Maria Stewart & Attorneys Ralph
              Warner & Janet Portman-2nd Edition

Here are some basic guidelines for accepting rental applications.

#1-Each prospective Tenant-age 18 or older who wants to live in your rental property should completely fill out a separate written application.  This is true whether you are renting to a married couple or to unrelated roommates, a complete stranger or the cousin of your current Tenant.

#2-Always make sure that prospective Tenants complete the entire Rental Application, including (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) Social Security number, current employment, bank and emergency contacts.  You may need this information later to track down a Tenant who skips town leaving unpaid rent or abandoned property.

#3-Ask each prospective Tenant to show you his driver’s license or other photo identification as a way to verify that the applicant is using his/her real name.

#4-Be sure all potential Tenants sign the Rental Application, authorizing you to verify the information and references. (Some employers and banks require written authorization before they will talk to you)  You may also want to prepare a separate authorization, so that you do not need to copy the entire application and send it off every time a bank or employer wants proof that the Tenant authorized you to verify the information.

Crossett Real Estate Services can provide a standard release-consent form to all potential Tenants. 

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This web page was updated on 03/01/2012.