Establishing Rental Standards

by Mary Anne Ragragio

Posted on 2019-08-17 20:17:01

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Tenant qualifying standards relate to a tenant's ability to pay their rent and follow the terms of their lease agreement. It is also a checklist for landlords. It allows the landlords to screen tenants based on the same basic criteria. It is illegal to reform the requirements or make different requirements because of someone’s race, age, gender, religion or any other characteristic that may violate the Federal Fair Housing Act.

You do not want to be accused of discrimination. Thus, you must have the same qualifying standards for all prospective tenants.

Every landlord may have slightly different qualifying standards, and that is fine, as long as the standards are not in violation of any laws. Here are some examples you can consider. 


  • Limiting the number of people per apartment –For safety purposes, there is a limit on the number of people who can reside. A landlord can limit the number of people living in the apartment based on the local municipality's guidelines of maximum occupancy per square footage. A Landlord cannot limit based on any other criteria as that is discriminatory. You may check with your local municipality to see what limitations they have and that is all you can enforce. Due to fair housing, you do not have a right to chose based on the familial status of the occupants (e.g. children) only the number based on local laws.


  • Copy of government identification – this is to verify their identity who claims to be on their rental application. Photo ID's are used to establish identity. It's up to the agent and is a part of due diligence to confirm the identity of the person of whom they are working with especially for a rental. If Credit and background are being pulled and an application is submitted to the owner it's a must.


  • Order tenant screening – it will help you determine if they have the capability of paying their rent on time. Taking the time to order your tenant screening can help to remarkably reduce problems in the future. It will help in eliminating potential damage and evictions. Smart Housing's Tenant Screening can definitely help you with this matter; this allows you to take a holistic look at their income, debt, credit information, criminal history, eviction history, etc. without violating any Equal housing rules. Smart Housing is fast, easy, accurate and affordable tenant screening. If you are in need of Tenant Screening services, then look no further than Smart Housing


  • Security Deposit – is the money a landlord required from a tenant. It helps to protect the landlord if ever tenant violates the rental agreement or break something on their property. Every state within the United States allows a landlord to collect a security deposit from a tenant. You are usually allowed to keep the portion of this security deposit necessary to cover the lost rent. You may be able to keep a tenant’s security deposit to cover any utilities they have neglected to pay and were required to pay as part of their lease.



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