For Bellingham, WA Office
(360) 296-0344    
tlyden@keatingandlyden.com

For Boulder, CO Office
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rkeating@keatingandlyden.com

Warning: Skipping Tenant Verification Can Land You in Trouble

Most landlords are selective about renting property out to strangers. Property owners and managers usually require a background check on applicants before granting approval. While this process is routine and expected, some landlords are more careful and thorough than others. Here is a summary of the tenant verification process.

Tenant Background Checks
There are various ways tenant applications are investigated by landlords. They may contact former employers to find out about the applicant’s character. They will most likely check his or her criminal record as well as credit report. They may also contact previous landlords to find out if the tenant regularly paid the rent on time.

Gathering Information
The main issues that a tenant verification service is looking for are marks on the applicant’s record that may call into question the applicant’s behavior. The landlord, for example, will likely not want to rent to a person with a criminal history. They also may not want to rent to someone with a history of bankruptcies or bad credit.

In Person Interviews
In some cases, the landlord may want to conduct personal interviews with the applicant to get a feel for the applicant’s demeanor and lifestyle. Certain responses may be a red flag to indicate the applicant does not meet the landlord’s unwritten requirements. The landlord, however, is not allowed to ask certain personal questions such as whether or not a couple plans to have kids.

Asking about the applicant’s work schedule is legitimate and may indicate the tenant’s lifestyle if they work late hours. The landlord might also ask if the applicant likes to turn music up loud or throw parties. Skipping the stage of asking basic questions and forgoing a tenant verification could lead to an unreliable tenant that doesn’t pay on time or compromises the comfort level of neighbors.

See Also: Commercial Real Estate Laws: What You Should Know

Keating and Lyden

Keating & Lyden LLC was founded by attorneys-at-law, Robert J. Keating, and Thomas P. Lyden and is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Bellingham, Washington. The attorneys specialize in providing legal advice in real estate matters to businesses and individuals pertaining to real estate management and operation including: tenancy in common agreements, partition agreements, real estate financing, homeowner’s associations and land use issues. They also provide the highest quality legal services to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
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