This is a post I received from MrLandlord.com on tenant screening. This is the best idea I have heard yet on how to handle the potentially touchy subject of tenant prospect rejections. If you’re not already on his mailing list you can do so by going to his site here: http://www.mrlandlord.com/7/index.html
DO NOT REJECT ANYONE!
The same successful landlord who last week encouraged us to AVOID THE DRAMA, also recently revealed his method for how he handles applicants that do not meet his criteria. It is a strategy that I also utilize. Thanks S i d (MO) for divulging this tip:
I reject no one. Ah, read on, Dear Friends.
Applications are available to everyone who asks for one. I go over my criteria with them verbally when I pre-screen them on the phone. It takes 60 seconds. If the applicant still gives me an application and a fee, I process their application. It takes about 2 minutes to look at their income / background / lack of landlord history, etc. and find at least one legitimate reason they cannot be approved.
I put their application into my “approval pending” file and do nothing else. I do not call, email or text. If they call me for an update, I tell them, “Mr. Smith, as we discussed before I gave you my application, these are the criteria…x,y,z. As of now, you do not meet criteria x and z. I cannot approve your application until these two items are corrected. Please contact me when these matters are addressed with more documentation.”
End of story. No rejection, no discrimination.
When you reject someone, you open the door to get sued. Simply have legitimate criteria, and throw the ball back in their court to fix themselves to your standards.