Correct verbiage for turning down applicants

3 Replies

Hello BP, I've had a busy week showing our SFH and accepting rental applications. I have 3 applications... 1 solid one that I would love to have and who would be perfect. The other two I honestly dont feel would be the best for the house. One guy has 2 German Shepherds; its a relatively small place with a small yard, he travels and would have a roomate stay with him, in a band and has a lot of musical equipment, etc... and the other couple asked me about house parties, smoking, and how many people I would allow to say in the house at any given time. Needless to say, I'm not thrilled with either of the last two. I am only going to run the 1st applicant as shes my primary candidate. Assuming she passes, do I need to run the other two in order to not discriminate or can I simply say I've found a tenant and the home is no longer available. Then return their money. Or do I even need to return their money? I'm probably over thinking this but if you could provide some guidance I would be very much appreciative.

Thanks in advance

I personally like "Sorry but your credit sucks." 

I'm just being facetious.

http://petriestocking.com/blog/landlord-tenant/rejecting-a-rental-applicant-the-dos-and-donts

Hi Justin! I've worked multifamily Property Management for about 20 years. It is super sensitive to fair housing laws, however in that case you only can take one applicant at a time - not at all like SFH. If you have less than 10 rentals, you can simply say you have approved another applicant and give them back their application money if you haven't run their credit and lost any funds. No explanation is necessary. That being said, mass quantities of people (probably over occupancy standards in your area) or having two large dogs - neither are protected classes. Therefore you wouldn't be discriminating. The key is consistency - if you rent to the other people and they have two large dogs - then you aren't remaining consistent, and other questions may arise. If either party presses for a reason, you can flat out tell them your standards are no pets, and only 2 guests per person - to dissuade them from asking any other questions. They will know why and likely go elsewhere with no conflict. Hope it helps!!

from now on i say no pets, charge somewhat high rent for the area and don't charge for credit check nor run it until sufficient income qualifies (verified monthly income is at least 3X rent), and 1X rent + 2X security deposit funds are show available. 

so far this weeds out all but the most serious and financially stable, leaving busy 'career' professionals to concentrate on, as most street folks don't bother bringing paystub to photocopy with application or don't have 3X rent to put where their mouth is. 

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