In general, a property manager should forward all completed applications , even when they reject a tenant, to the property owner. And there may be some hoops for the applicant to jump through.
For example, depending on state and local laws, the property manager may require a nonrefundable application fee, a refundable application deposit, or a certain amount of earnest money to accompany the application. They may also require all material information requests on the application to be filled out.
Applications that come in with no name on them, for example, or that aren’t signed, probably don’t have to be forwarded. They aren’t complete applications.
Reasons to Reject a Tenant:
- Missing sections of the application
- Refusal to authorize a credit check
- Missing signature or refusal to sign
- No references
- No application fee/deposit
- No earnest money/First months’ rent
- Lack of certified funds
- Lack of employment information/income history information
- Obvious misstatements on the application, such as a birthdate of 1930 on an application submitted by someone in his 20s.
Otherwise, though, the refusal of a complete application that meets the threshold for completeness and responsiveness required of anyone else would be a bad idea.
Why? First of all, it potentially exposes the property manager to allegations of unlawful housing discrimination – especially if the applicant is a member of a legally protected class. This can occur even if the property manager has no knowledge that the renter is a member of a protected class.
Maintain an Open Relationship
Second, honesty and openness is usually the best policy. Owners want to see their options. There’s usually no reason to conceal anything from them. If the rental applicant is that unqualified, there will likely be legally permissible reasons to go with another applicant.
Meanwhile, the property manager cannot be accused of failing to forward the application based on racial or other unlawful discrimination. Furthermore, as long as there is no racial information or anything else indicating that the applicant is a member of a protected class, there is a degree of protection there – barring obviously ethnic names on the application.
In the end, the property manager should be consistent, and apply the same criteria for completion to all, and forward all complete applications to the owner until the property is no longer available.
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|Author Bio Writing about personal finance and investments since 1999, Jason Van Steenwyk started as a reporter with Mutual Funds Magazine and served as editor of Investors’ Digest. He now publishes feature articles in many publications including Annuity Selling Guide, Bankrate.com, and more.|