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BY LUCAS HALL
TENANT SCREENING 101
A STEP BY STEP GUIDE
AGENDA
1. Screening Basics
2. Discrimination Laws
3. My 1 Hour, 9 Step Process
4. Handling Less-Qualified Applicants
5. Bon...
MY STORY
Lucas Hall, PMP
• Landlord, 10+ yrs
• 5 Properties / ~17 Tenants
• Founder, Landlordology
• Community Mgr, @CozyC...
Free Property Management Software
SCREENING BASICS
SCREENING BASICS
1. Able and willing to pay rent?
• Income = 2-3x Monthly Rent
• Able = Job / Income / Cash
• Willing = A ...
SCREENING BASICS
2. Everything else can be, repaired,
evicted, or mitigated
3. More info is not always better
4. Set appro...
SCREENING BASICS
5. Automate your listings and
applications
6. Check Government photo IDs
7. The type of debt matters
SCREENING BASICS
8. Top 5 red flags:
• “Can I pay in cash?”
• Illegal drug use,
• Violent crimes,
• Fraudulent IDs
• Filthy...
DISCRIMINATION
DISCRIMINATION
1. Set approval criteria and treat
everyone equally
2. Memorize the “Federal 7” and
your State/Local protec...
PROTECTED CLASSES*
1. Race
2. Color
3. Religion
4. Sex
5. Familial status, incl. children or pregnancy
6. National Origin,...
SCREENING PROCESS
1. Pre-screen Inquiries (10 mins)
2. Property Tours(30 mins)
3. Applications & ID Verification (15 mins)
4. Proof of Income...
INQUIRIES
1. Pre-screen with a quick phone call
2. Phone calls avoid discrimination
3. Ask about income, savings, debt,
cr...
PROPERTY TOURS
1. Host a “Landlord’s Open House”
2. Did they arrive on time?
3. Ask open-ended questions
• Why are you int...
APPLICATIONS & ID VERIFICATION
1. Use online applications
2. Collect applications from all adult
occupants / co-signers
3....
INCOME / EMPLOYMENT
1. Proof of Pay stub
• Applicant Name
• Current Address
• Monthly Income
• Employer’s Name
• Year-to-D...
REFERENCES
Call the past two+ landlords
• What were the start and end dates of the lease?
• Were there any late or partial...
CREDIT REPORT / SCORE
1. SSN#, not required
2. All three credit bureaus provide services
for landlords
3. Soft inquiries p...
BACKGROUND CHECK
1. 2 Years, No Convictions
2. No Violent Crimes, Ever
3. No Evictions, Ever
STEP 7 (10 mins)
SEX OFFENDER DATABASE
Sex Offender is not a protected
class; www.nsopw.gov
STEP 8 (10 mins)
THE BIG PICTURE
1. Consider the entirety of all applicants
2. Other considerations:

Lease duration, Cars, Pets, Hypochond...
LESS QUALIFIED APPLICANTS
1. Require a larger deposit
2. Require rent to be paid online, and
automatically
3. Require a co...
RESOURCES
www.landlordology.com
STATE LAWS
landlordology.com/state-laws
LANDLORD GUIDES
landlordology.com/guides
Free to Download
DIRECTORY
landlordology.com/directory
LIFECYCLE
The Landlord Lifecycle

A comprehensive checklist of phases
when renting a property
landlordology.com/lifecycle
PODCAST
Ask Lucas

A Q&A Podcast about Landlording.
AskLucas.com
Free Property Management Software
© 2012-2014 Cozy Services Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.cozy.co
(IT’S FREE)
QUESTIONS?
Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy
Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy
Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy
Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy
Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy
Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy
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Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy

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In this presentation, you'll learn how to select the best tenants for your rental property and how to save time and money in the process.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:
1. How to screen applicants in 1 hour or less,
2. Not-so-obvious red flags to watch out for,
3. Discrimination laws that you need to be aware of,
4. How to get background & credit reports at no cost to you.

TOPICS:
1. Screening Basics
2. Discrimination Laws
3. My 1 Hour, 9 Step Screening Process
4. Handling Less-Qualified Applicants
5. Bonus Resources

RESOURCES:
The Landlord's Guide to Tenant Screening: http://www.landlordology.com/guides/

LINKS:
Landlordology is brought you by Cozy, which provides free, simple, end-to-end rental management software for landlords and tenants. Learn more at https://cozy.co

Cozy - Free Property Management Software: https://cozy.co
Landlordology: http://www.landlordology.com

Published in: Real Estate
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Tenant Screening 101 - A Step by Step Guide to Evaluating Applicants, by Lucas Hall from Cozy

  1. 1. BY LUCAS HALL TENANT SCREENING 101 A STEP BY STEP GUIDE
  2. 2. AGENDA 1. Screening Basics 2. Discrimination Laws 3. My 1 Hour, 9 Step Process 4. Handling Less-Qualified Applicants 5. Bonus Resources 6. Q&A
  3. 3. MY STORY Lucas Hall, PMP • Landlord, 10+ yrs • 5 Properties / ~17 Tenants • Founder, Landlordology • Community Mgr, @CozyCo • Not a Lawyer • Family Man & Puppy-daddy
  4. 4. Free Property Management Software
  5. 5. SCREENING BASICS
  6. 6. SCREENING BASICS 1. Able and willing to pay rent? • Income = 2-3x Monthly Rent • Able = Job / Income / Cash • Willing = A sense of moral and fiscal responsibility
  7. 7. SCREENING BASICS 2. Everything else can be, repaired, evicted, or mitigated 3. More info is not always better 4. Set approval criteria before you advertise
  8. 8. SCREENING BASICS 5. Automate your listings and applications 6. Check Government photo IDs 7. The type of debt matters
  9. 9. SCREENING BASICS 8. Top 5 red flags: • “Can I pay in cash?” • Illegal drug use, • Violent crimes, • Fraudulent IDs • Filthy person or car
  10. 10. DISCRIMINATION
  11. 11. DISCRIMINATION 1. Set approval criteria and treat everyone equally 2. Memorize the “Federal 7” and your State/Local protected classes 3. When in doubt, consult an attorney
  12. 12. PROTECTED CLASSES* 1. Race 2. Color 3. Religion 4. Sex 5. Familial status, incl. children or pregnancy 6. National Origin, or 7. a Mental or Physical Disability * Fair Housing Act,1968, 
 Most states have extra classes
  13. 13. SCREENING PROCESS
  14. 14. 1. Pre-screen Inquiries (10 mins) 2. Property Tours(30 mins) 3. Applications & ID Verification (15 mins) 4. Proof of Income/Employment(10 mins) 5. Landlord References (15 mins) 6. Credit Report/Score 7. Background Check 8. Sex Offender Database 9. Consider the Entirety of All Applicants (10 mins) 9 STEP PROCESS (10 mins)
  15. 15. INQUIRIES 1. Pre-screen with a quick phone call 2. Phone calls avoid discrimination 3. Ask about income, savings, debt, credit, pets, hobbies 4. Let them talk and ramble STEP 1 (10 mins)
  16. 16. PROPERTY TOURS 1. Host a “Landlord’s Open House” 2. Did they arrive on time? 3. Ask open-ended questions • Why are you interested in this place? • Why are you moving? • Can you describe your ideal lease agreement? • Can you describe your current job? • Check out their backseat (Trunk Junk Test) STEP 2 (30 mins)
  17. 17. APPLICATIONS & ID VERIFICATION 1. Use online applications 2. Collect applications from all adult occupants / co-signers 3. Check ID, and verify through credit 4. Use Social Media and Google STEP 3 (15 mins)
  18. 18. INCOME / EMPLOYMENT 1. Proof of Pay stub • Applicant Name • Current Address • Monthly Income • Employer’s Name • Year-to-Date Earnings • Garnishments and Child Support 2. Bank Statement STEP 4 (10 mins)
  19. 19. REFERENCES Call the past two+ landlords • What were the start and end dates of the lease? • Were there any late or partial payments? • Were there any noise violations or disturbances? • In what condition did they leave the property? • Did they try to sue you? • ***Would you rent to them again?*** STEP 5 (15 mins)
  20. 20. CREDIT REPORT / SCORE 1. SSN#, not required 2. All three credit bureaus provide services for landlords 3. Soft inquiries preferred 4. Score = 700+ is best. Experian = 330-830, TransUnion = 300-850, Equifax = 280-850 5. Don’t accept paper credit reports STEP 6 (10 mins)
  21. 21. BACKGROUND CHECK 1. 2 Years, No Convictions 2. No Violent Crimes, Ever 3. No Evictions, Ever STEP 7 (10 mins)
  22. 22. SEX OFFENDER DATABASE Sex Offender is not a protected class; www.nsopw.gov STEP 8 (10 mins)
  23. 23. THE BIG PICTURE 1. Consider the entirety of all applicants 2. Other considerations:
 Lease duration, Cars, Pets, Hypochondriacs, Hoarders, Complainers, Hobbies 3. It’s a business decision 4. First qualified applicant recommended but not required STEP 8 (10 mins)
  24. 24. LESS QUALIFIED APPLICANTS 1. Require a larger deposit 2. Require rent to be paid online, and automatically 3. Require a co-signer 4. Require a lump sum payment 5. Check your state laws for limits
  25. 25. RESOURCES
  26. 26. www.landlordology.com
  27. 27. STATE LAWS landlordology.com/state-laws
  28. 28. LANDLORD GUIDES landlordology.com/guides Free to Download
  29. 29. DIRECTORY landlordology.com/directory
  30. 30. LIFECYCLE The Landlord Lifecycle
 A comprehensive checklist of phases when renting a property landlordology.com/lifecycle
  31. 31. PODCAST Ask Lucas
 A Q&A Podcast about Landlording. AskLucas.com
  32. 32. Free Property Management Software
  33. 33. © 2012-2014 Cozy Services Ltd. All rights reserved. www.cozy.co (IT’S FREE)
  34. 34. QUESTIONS?

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