How much do you value your property? After all, luxury homes can sell for over $2 million on the market. The last thing you want to do is lease it out to a wanted criminal or someone who can't afford to pay rent.
Tenant screening allows you to avoid those issues by running a background check on renters. You can find out information like where they work, where they've lived, and if they have a criminal background. However, there are some Florida tenant screening laws to be aware of before you run a tenant background check.
Here are some legalities you should know about the tenant screening process.
No Application Fee Limit
The first thing to know is that there are no background check laws regarding the application fee. A landlord can charge whatever they want for the process, which may help to weed out certain candidates. However, charging too much may also drive away future applicants.
Receive Signed Consent
Florida tenant screening laws state that landlords must receive signed consent to run a background check on another person. It's not enough to have verbal confirmation.
Most landlords include a section regarding a background check on the application. It must clearly state that the signature allows you to run the check. If you don't receive permission, then that violates Florida Housing Laws as well as the FCRA.
The same rules apply to employees who work on the premises. You cannot run a criminal history check without signed consent.
Establish Consistent Criteria
Another regulation is that landlords must stick to their established criteria regarding Florida renters. Some of the most common criteria include a good credit score, a reliable source of income, and payment of a security deposit.
You can reject applicants that do not meet these standards. However, you must also apply these criteria to all candidates.
If you allow pets onto your property, then you cannot reject a pet owner without sufficient reasoning.
Monitor Small Talk
It's only natural to want to get to know someone who is interested in renting out one of your luxury listings. However, too many questions outside of a formal interview setting may come across as deceptive. An applicant may think that you're trying to find ways to discriminate against them based on their background without going through the proper channels.
Cannot Discriminate Based on Criminal History
On a similar note, you cannot discriminate based on a person's criminal history. The only time you can deny based on their criminal history is if it was a recent or more serious charge, such as assault and battery.
Legal Tenant Screening
A tenant screening report can cover anything from rental history to sex offender registries. However, you want to make sure that you acquire the information legally. You also need to avoid discriminating based on the information you acquire.
Luxury Residential Management LLC can help make sure that only the most excellent candidates rent out your properties. Our property management services include inspections, emergency maintenance, vendor management, and more. Contact us if you need help taking care of your properties.