Nestled on the banks of the Missouri River, Omaha is a vibrant economic center for Nebraska and the Midwest. For landlords that own rental properties in Omaha, things are looking up as properties are in high demand lately. Every landlord that owns or manages rental property here will be able to find the best tenants when they learn all about Omaha tenant screening laws.
In this post, Omaha landlords will gain understanding about:
- Omaha tenant screening laws
- Free resources for landlords
- Tenant screening process overview
- Locate tenant screening services
Tenant Screening Omaha Laws
Every rental property in Omaha is subject to numerous federal, state and municipal laws. These rules and regulations ensure that tenant screening is done fairly and legally for both sides. However, failure to comply can place a landlord in big trouble so it’s important that they learn all there is to know about Omaha tenant screening laws.
The Omaha tenant screening laws begin with these items:
- Landlords are not limited on how much they can charge for application fees.
- Application fees in Omaha are non-refundable.
- The security deposit and application fee are separated financial transactions and are due at different times of the application process.
Check out this website for more information on Omaha tenant screening laws.
Don’t Make This Common Screening Mistake
When there’s a vacancy, Omaha landlords ask applicants to fill out a form. However, too many landlords are using forms that force them to make a common screening mistake. Unless the form asks for a signature, the landlords cannot run a background check. In other words, an Omaha landlord cannot run a background check on an applicant unless they have a signature of consent. However, all current applications should be modified to include a signature line if they don’t have them already.
Here’s an example of how it is done on a RentPrep form:
See how the top red arrow informs applicants about their application fee and that it is not refundable? The bottom arrow presents a signature line that applicants must sign so the landlord can run a background check.
Resources for Tenant Screening in Omaha
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
- Fair Housing Center of Omaha – More on fair housing throughout the city
- City of Omaha Planning Department Housing and Community Development Division – Learn more about renting in Omaha
*Many landlords have a no blank space policy for new applications. It allows them to deny any incomplete applications people submit. Incomplete applications happen when the applicant has left blanks for answers.
Omaha Tenant Screening Process
Using a tenant screening criteria list is an excellent way for Omaha landlords to stay consistent and fair when reviewing applications.. This gives them a consistent standard to compare to. When landlords create their tenant screening criteria list, it should include basic qualities and standards they would set for their ideal tenant.
This example of an Omaha tenant screening criteria list can help:
- No evictions
- No smoking
- Credit score above 580
- Income to rent ratio at 3:1
- No criminal history
- One dog with current vaccinations
- No bankruptcies
Omaha landlords should be careful to not discriminate against protected classes as defined by federal, state and municipal laws. If landlords aren’t familiar with protected classes, they can review at this website. Federal anti-discrimination information can be found at the hud.gov website.
There’s a lot to know about Omaha tenant screening laws, including:
- Landlords can charge whatever they want for an application fee.
- Omaha landlords cannot discriminate against protected classes during the application process.
- Applications that don’t meet the landlord’s personal screening criteria can be legally denied.
Learning about Omaha’s tenant screening laws is important and this city website is a good place to begin.
RentPrep’s Tenant Screening Guide
When screening tenants there is so much information to consider such as data included in a tenant screening report.
That is why we’ve created a tenant screening guide to show you every step of the process.
Just click the link above to check out guide.
Check Out Your Nebraska 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 “Nebraska Tenant Screening Process.”
Locating the Best Tenant Screening Services
Landlords can now find a reputable tenant screening service so they can do a background check on the applicant. Instead of doing it themselves, smart landlords turn the task over to a professional tenant screening service. For a reasonable cost, the landlords get a full report.
An Omaha tenant screening company provides:
- Previous addresses
- Judgments and liens
Omaha landlords can decide whether or not to offer a lease to an applicant based on the findings. When done right, the Omaha tenant screening process helps landlords avoid bad tenants and find the good ones.
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.