Los Angeles landlords are in the ideal place to own rental properties because the city attracts so many people who want to live there. In fact, around 60 percent of the population is renting. However, in order to make their rentals profitable, Los Angeles landlords should keep up to speed on all the information regarding screening applicants. Without tenant screening in Los Angeles, landlords run the risk of getting tenants that will cost them a lot of time and money.
With the Los Angeles tenant screening process, landlords will learn more about:
- LA tenant screening laws
- Lots of free resources
- A free tenant screening guide
- An overview of screening processes
- Some basics of tenant screening services
Tenant Screening Los Angeles Laws
Los Angeles has plenty of laws and regulations when it comes to tenant screening. While state laws regulate a lot of the process, many metro cities have their own set of laws as well. It’s a good idea for landlords to learn all they can about what makes tenant screening in Los Angeles unique.
For example, landlords should know this about tenant screening in Los Angeles:
- The state of California limits how much a landlord can charge for an application fee at just under $50.00. The city of Los Angeles follows this state regulation.
- Landlords in LA can charge an application fee for each adult on the application.
- If the application is denied because of bad credit, landlords in Los Angeles must provide the applicant with the copy of the credit report.
It’s never a good idea to overlook the ins and outs of tenant screening laws in Los Angeles. When things get confusing, LA landlords can refer to this comprehensive website.
Many Landlords Make This Common Screening Mistake
If Los Angeles landlords are using out of date rental applications they could be making a big mistake. In order to perform a background check on an applicant, landlords need written permission. If Los Angeles landlords don’t have the signature of the applicant, they cannot run a background check on that person. Landlords should make changes to the application right away if there is no signature line.
Check out the rental application at RentPrep:
The top red arrow shows where applicants find out that the application fee is not refundable. The bottom red arrow shows applicants that they need to provide a signature so a background check is allowed.
Resources for Tenant Screening in Los Angeles
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
- Los Angeles Landlord/Tenant Guide – County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs
- landlords and tenants
*Los Angeles landlords are increasingly setting up a no blank space policy when reviewing applications. This means that they discard any applications that hare not complete. If an answer is left blank, the application is not put forward.
Los Angeles Tenant Screening Process
Applying a consistent and organized review process to all applications is the best way to sort out which ones are going to represent fine applicants. Creating a Los Angeles tenant screening criteria list can help landlords focus in on what they want in a tenant. They must write down all the factors they are looking for in their ideal tenant. Then, the landlord simply compares the applications to the list and keeps the ones that are the closest match.
This is an example of a Los Angeles tenant screening criteria list:
- No evictions
- Pets limited to two under 10 lbs
- No smoking
- Income to rent ratio at 3:1
- No violent criminal history
Of course, when creating a Los Angeles tenant screening list, landlords need to avoid all kinds of discrimination. Anti-discrimination laws at the federal level and at the state level are quite strict, and the city of Los Angeles has even more anti-discrimination housing laws to pay attention to. For example, Los Angeles includes sexual orientation and source of income as protected classes.Landlords can learn more about city housing discrimination issues here. For federal housing discrimination details, landlords should look at hud.gov website.
More about Los Angeles tenant screening laws :
- Los Angeles landlords are strictly limited on what they may charge as application fees
- Any applicant can request a copy of the credit report, even if the application is denied
- Los Angeles landlords cannot discriminate against protected classes listed on the federal and state level. The city protections are broader than federal and state protected classes.
- To avoid discrimination lawsuits, Los Angeles landlords should have consistent standards when reviewing applications.
Los Angeles landlords should bookmark this helpful website to keep them on top of all the landlord tenant rules for the city.
Check Out Your California 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 “California Tenant Screening Process.”
Finding the Right Tenant Screening Services
Los Angeles landlords should send the top applications to a reputable tenant screening service. When they pay the reasonable fee for a detailed background check, they’ll be able to figure out which of all the applicants will make the best tenant.
A tenant screening company should give landlords info about:
- Judgments and liens
- Previous addresses
With a detailed background check, landlords in Los Angeles can make the offer of a lease to the very best applicant. With luck, it will lead to a long and prosperous rental.
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.