There are 1.4 million renter occupied households in North Carolina with an eviction rate of 4.6%. Instead of focusing on the numbers, though, you should focus on finding the best possible tenants for your property. By having a thorough qualification process, you can fairly and logically sort through applicants. This will help you to identify the most qualified applicants that are most likely to pay their rent in full each month.
This guide will help you identify the most desirable Asheville rental tenants by identifying the critical factors that should be on your checklist.
Create Set Criteria
To help you stay compliant with the Fair Housing Act regulations, have a set standard of criteria that you analyze all applicants against. This will ensure you don’t accidentally discriminate against someone under a protected class.
Most owners categorize their applicants into three categories, unqualified, marginally qualified, and highly qualified. The majority of applicants will fall into the marginally qualified category.
Income and Employment
Ask applicants to provide proof of income so that you verify they can afford the rent. Without this proof, you should automatically disqualify a potential tenant. Look for proof in the form of a W2, bank statement, 1099s, or pay stub.
While it isn’t a requirement, someone with long term employment with a particular employer shows a desirable level of stability. It shows they are likely to continue working there. This reduces the risk of your tenant suddenly not working and no longer affording the rent once they move in.
While looking at an applicant’s credit score is helpful, it doesn’t give you the full picture. For most rental homeowners, a credit under 600 used to be an automatic disqualification.
These days, you need to read their credit history to understand why their score is so low. For some, their credit history is pristine minus one short sale/foreclosure. This shouldn’t automatically disqualify them from renting. A situation like this is a sign the application got caught up in the mortgage fiasco and economic downturn.
Markers to look out for are recent collections actions, non-payment of utility bills, or an eviction by a previous landlord. These are all markers of a potentially problematic tenant.
Criminal and Background Checks
You can run a credit and background check on every applicant. You may feel hesitant about applicants with a history of fraud or robbery.
Some property owners also disqualify applicants who have a history of drug charges. This is especially the case if the convictions are related to dealing or manufacturing.
You can use a variety of other factors to narrow down your applicants to the ideal choice. Look at your ability to verify the applicant’s previous tenancy and references.
You could disqualify tenants based on their ownership of pets. You could not allow any pets or have restrictions on the species, breed, and size. You could limit the number of occupants, but be careful; you cannot restrict applications based on familial status.
Factors You Cannot Consider
The Federal Fair Housing Act protects potential tenants from discrimination. You cannot make a determination based on the applicant’s race, religion, national origin, gender, age, familial status, physical or mental disability (including recovering alcoholics and people with past drug addiction).
Have Professional Assistance
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is seek out professional advice. A property manager has experience reviewing Asheville rental tenant applications and is familiar with the law. They can guide you through the process.
Focus on finding someone who meets your income, credit history, and background check requirements. Only trust the information that you can verify through an independent third party.
Contact our experienced team today and let us help you find the ideal tenant for your Asheville rental.