When you receive back an application from a tenant with the application fee, look over the document and look for the important things before bothering with a background check. The obvious things are those you read to the tenant over the phone, which included:
- The gross monthly income must equal approximately three times or more the monthly rent
- Applicants must be employed
- Applicants must have good references concerning rental payment, housekeeping, and property maintenance from all previous Landlords.
- The number of occupants is to two per bedroom or less
If you can quickly see that the rent for the house is $1000 per month and they only make $1800 per month in gross income, they clearly did not pass the income qualification. Sometimes this is due to a writing error or income they forgot to include, so be sure to clarify with them before rejecting the application. Chances are, however, that the tenant simply doesn’t qualify and was hoping you wouldn’t notice. If you did a thorough job of explaining the criteria over the phone with the applicant and they still applied and didn’t qualify – it’s up to you if you want to return the application fee. However – don’t bother running the background/credit check if they are disqualified due to one of the above criteria. We’ll cover more on how to disqualify someone in just a moment.