Rental App questions - Posted by Lyal

Posted by River City on October 14, 2003 at 09:34:52:

Frank, you are a sly one!!! Also good!!

Rental App questions - Posted by Lyal

Posted by Lyal on October 13, 2003 at 07:26:40:

I attended a “Crime Free Multi Housing” class put on by local law enforcement this Saturday (excellent class by the way). During the first presentation, a local real estate attorney told us that when you meet with a potential tenant to sign a lease, it’s possible that they might “ambush” you by saying they won’t sign your lease but want to use the Section 8 lease instead and YOU CAN’T REFUSE!!

Same attorney told us that we can accept a quantity of applications and “cherry pick” from them for people that at a glance look like the best prospects (ie: income level, stated time on the job…) and apply our screening process to those apps first. In the last presentation, a local law enforcement officer stated (rather vehemently after I questioned his info… better not get caught speeding in this city after my exchange with him) that you MUST date and time stamp the applications and process them on that basis and the FIRST one you come to that meets your published criteria MUST be the person you rent to. We had and exchange about protected classes etc but he wouldn’t budge…
Thanks much, Lyal

Re: Rental App questions - Posted by Jya-Ning

Posted by Jya-Ning on October 14, 2003 at 10:46:56:


I think these are two different situations mentioned by the same attroney. One you are ready to sign lease, and the other you are still picking.

If you never ask them certain information before you two agree to sign the lease, and suddenly you want to refuse to rent to him/her because of the new information, how can you justify that information is important to you in your picking process. Most people will see this as a discrimation.

On the other hand, during the picking process, as long as your rule is not set to screen out certain group of people that most people will not think is business related, you will be o.k.


Re: Rental App questions - Posted by William Bronchick

Posted by William Bronchick on October 13, 2003 at 10:35:53:

Assuming there is no local law in your area that is applicable, I will state generally that you SHOULD (not must) accept the first person that meets your standards. If you have 2 qualified applicants and you choose one that isn’t some protected class, the other applicant may claim discrimination. I’ve said this before, discrimination itself is ok; ILLEGAL discrimination based on protected classes of people is not. If you can find a LEGAL way to discriminate between 2 legal applicants, then do so. For example, one has a dog, and you don’t accept dogs. But, taking a married couple over two single people is going to get you into trouble, even if the married couple makes more money (assuming both make enough to afford the payments).

Re: Rental App questions - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on October 14, 2003 at 06:52:12:


Here’s the way I look at it.

I drive to my business, at 60 miles in a 50 mile zone. I occasionaally forget to signal lane changes.

Please don’t ask me to drive in the right lane with all the old ladies.

I rent apartments, and I cherry pick the best tenants. Thinking back thru the years, had I gone on a first come, first to meet criteria basis, I would’ve rented my place to folks I totalling detest, and gave up the business long ago. I might even be arrested for murder.

So, please don’t ask me to deal with these people.

But I learned to screen them during the initial phone interview. They’re usually the first to call early in the morning, and also to ask “am I the first one??”

So what do I say??

I say “oh no, we had several people interested yesterday” (even when its not so). But when they say “but it’s the first time I saw this in the paper” My answer is "oh no, I had brokers bring me a ton of people the last two weeks, but I wasn’t impressed.

And I often show it to brokers first, and have a few completed applications laying on the table.

And if they want to come the first thing in the morning to be the first, I’d say “I’m sorry, but we show by appointment, and we’re all booked today, but I can squeeze you in late in the evening.”

For those that I like, I’d say, "please fill out the application immediately as I have many interested. For those I don’t care for, that I schedule late in the evening, I say "take it home with you, as I have to go somewhere, and bring it back to me the first thing tommorrow, and leave it in the mailbox if I’m not in.

And if they check later, I’d say “oh, are you sure you left it in the mailbox??, what’s your address, I’ll send you another application”

So who do you think would have the application time stamped first, if I do time stamp.

You just have to have a strategy to deal with the losers.

Frank Chin

Re: Rental App questions - Posted by Lyal

Posted by Lyal on October 17, 2003 at 08:02:22:

Frank, As always, great info. Thanks much, that puts my mind at ease a bit and will help me protect myself from the “opportunists”.