Denver is considered one of the great crossroads of the American West and that means a lot of people are looking to live here. Any landlord with rental property in Denver should be able to find plenty of applicants. However, choosing the best tenant isn’t as easy as it sounds, because it can be difficult to discern that from among all the applicants for a vacancy. When landlords follow Denver tenant screening laws, they reduce the risks of signing a lease with a bad tenant.
Here in this post, landlords will learn more about:
- Denver tenant screening laws
- Lots of free landlord resources
- Overview of the application screening process
- Locating tenant screening services
Tenant Screening Denver Laws
Denver tenant screening laws that are even stricter than state or federal laws due to its urban population. When there are a lot of rental units within a metro city’s limits, there are often additional regulations that go beyond state law. Denver’s tenant screening laws ensure the process works for both landlords and all tenants.
Here are a few of Denver’s tenant screening laws:
- There is no limit on how much landlords can charge for an application fee.
- Denver application fees are not refundable.
- Security deposits are separate from application fees and they are paid at different parts of the process.
Landlords in Denver are not going to do well in their real estate endeavors if they don’t know and understand the city’s tenant screening laws.
Avoid This Common Screening Mistake
One screening problem that Denver landlords run into frequently is not getting all the info they need to run a background check. Before any background checks are done, the landlord needs to get consent from the applicant in writing. In other words, if a Denver landlord doesn’t have the applicant’s signature on the application, they can’t do a background check. Any current applications should be amended immediately for the next vacancy.
Check out how it’s done on this RentPrep form:
The upper arrow points to the non-refundable application fee information. The lower arrow shows applicants where to sign to give consent to a background check.
Resources for Tenant Screening in Denver
RentPrep has gathered a helpful list of links for you to use in your real estate business. There’s no better way to find top tenants than to use the information here.
- Rental Application PDF – Have every prospective tenant fill out this rental application.*
- Move-In Move-Out checklist – This is helpful for after the tenant screening process to make sure you document the condition of the rental
- Rental Lease Agreement – Once you’ve decided on a tenant you’ll want to draw up a lease. (make sure this editable doc is compliant with your state laws)
- Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA – Our screeners here at RentPrep are FCRA certified to ensure compliance on your screening report
- Denver Metro Fair Housing Center – Comprehensive site on renting in Denver
*Ensure a thorough background check by adopting a no blank space policy. This means that any applications that are not completely filled out are automatically denied further processing. Landlords need every question answered, with no blank spaces, in order to run a thorough background check.
Denver Tenant Screening Process
Many Denver landlords use a tenant screening criteria list to prioritize the applications and find out whether or not one is qualified. Their list should have the ideal features they want to see in a tenant. It’s OK to be a little selective with the criteria, but landlords should also be realistic about who would be looking at their property.
Here’s an example of a Denver tenant screening list:
- No prior evictions
- Smoking is OK
- Single pet under 25 lbs is OK
- Income to rent ratio at least 2:1
- No criminal history
- No bankruptcies
Of course, there may be other or different factors that Denver landlords might include on their tenant screening criteria list. There should never be anything on the list or in the practice of reviewing applications that discriminates against protected classes. To find out more about fair housing laws in Denver, click here, and go to the hud.gov website for federal standards.
Remember that Denver tenant screening laws include:
- There’s no limit to how much landlords can charge for application fees.
- Any application that doesn’t meet the landlord’s criteria can be denied.
- Denver landlords must not discriminate against protected classes.
It pays to be well-educated on Denver tenant screening laws, or else landlords can get into legal trouble.
Check Out Your Colorado Screening Guide
In many cases cities have their own screening rules and regulations while the state has another set of rules that govern the screening process.
Click here to go to our post on the “Colorado Tenant Screening Process.”
Check Out Our Tenant Screening Tutorial
We’ve created a tenant screening tutorial that walks you through the entire tenant screening process.
This guide will show you everything you need to know even calling the previous landlord.
Take the time to go through this guide and your future self will thank you.
What About Tenant Screening Services?
Even the best landlord can’t compete with a professional tenant screening service when it comes to background checks. It’s ideal to locate a tenant screening service that provides real background reports for a fair cost.
The best tenant screening reports include information on:
- Prior evictions
- Any judgments or liens
- Past addresses
Once the results of the background checks are in, Denver landlords can make the important decision about offering a lease to the tenant. Instead of relying on a gut feeling or changing circumstances, landlords can use the information in a professional background check.
At RentPrep, we have experience with over 21,000 landlords over the past 10 years. Check out our tenant screening packages to see the services we offer.
Our FCRA certified screeners will put your mind at ease by providing the best tenant screening report available.