self-managing landlord

Fair Housing Law: Tenant Screening

Often, new owners are curious what the requirements are for an applicant to qualify for a property. Although Fair Housing Law doesn’t allow for property owners to truly select their own tenants, a reputable property management company should have a robust vetting process that nearly eliminates the likelihood of tenant-related issues arising  throughout the lease term. Although it can never be ruled out completely, the criteria we use to vet tenants eliminates many of the common issues.


We are committed to compliance with all federal, state, and local fair housing laws, and will not discriminate against any applicant due to being in any specific classes protected by applicable laws. We do allow reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification based upon disability-related need.

When we are reviewing applications for a property, our primary focus is on vetting the tenants properly to ensure they meet the minimum requirements. The requirements for units can change depending on the monthly rent, or other factors. Learn more about our guidelines on each of the following issues below:


Co-Signers or Guarantors

We do not accept co-signers or guarantors at any of our properties, regardless of rental price.

Credit Scores

The average credit score for the properties with the lowest rent is 600, and for the mid-tier and top-tier properties, they average 650 and 690, respectively.


Applicants cannot qualify for a property if there have been any bankruptcies within the previous two years, unless they were dismissed.


Landlord Verifications

Applications cannot complete the screening process until all landlord verifications are returned to us. Tenants including the correct, and most up-to-date contact information for previous landlords is the best way to ensure they face no delays.



We do verify income utilizing a program that reviews their bank account. This ensures that paystubs cannot be falsified. Depending on the monthly rental cost, we require 2.5 to 3 times the monthly rent in income.


Each of these elements helps us to ensure applicants will be respectful and responsible tenants. If you are familiar with fair housing law, you likely are aware of the complication that can occur during tenant “selection” or the initial application process for tenants. If you are unfamiliar with fair housing law and its impacts on this process, we encourage you to read our previous articles, Fair Housing Violations: Financial Penalties, and How to Protect Your Business From Fair Housing Violations. Additionally, we have a recent episode on our podcast that covers this topic well. To listen to The Accidental Landlord episode with experienced attorney Steven Katz, click here.



These previous articles should clarify that selecting a tenant based on opinion, gut feeling, or based on items that are outside of the allowed criteria can, in many cases, violate fair housing law. You can see that with all of the above requirements, and more that are not listed here, any approved applicant would be able to pass a background check, provide landlord verifications, have no bankruptcies within the listed time frame, not require a co-signer or guarantor, and have a credit score that meets our minimum requirements.

These items can rule out applicants who may not make enough money to rent the property or may not have valid references from previous landlords.

If you are interested in learning more, you can reach out to us by visiting our contact page, here.

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