Lots of people are looking for a place to rent in Raleigh, and that is good news for landlords. Because of the high demand for rental properties, Raleigh landlords have the opportunity to try to get the best tenants in place. However, when they follow the Raleigh tenant screening laws, they can avoid bad tenants and keep their properties filled with the best of the best.
In this post, Raleigh landlords can learn about:
- Raleigh tenant screening laws
- Free resources for landlords
- Tenant screening process overview
- Locate tenant screening services
Tenant Screening Raleigh Laws
Federal, state and municipal laws regulate tenant screening in Raleigh, and landlords would do well to learn and understand how to apply them to their real estate business. Failure to comply with these laws may put landlords in a bad legal situation. As a result, that’s why they need to stay current on Raleigh tenant screening laws.
The Raleigh tenant screening laws include:
- Landlords have no limits on how much they can charge for application fees.
- All application fees in Raleigh are not refundable.
- In Raleigh, as in North Carolina, the security deposit and application fee are separated financial transactions.
So check out this website for more information on Raleigh tenant screening laws.
Avoid This Common Screening Mistake
Raleigh landlords need to evaluate their application form immediately. However, too many landlords are using applications that don’t ask for the applicant’s signature. Without a signature, a landlord cannot run a background check on an applicant. Any application form they are currently using ought to be changed to reflect this.
Here’s what we do at RentPrep:
Top red arrow: Tells applicants their application fee is not refundable.
Bottom red arrow: Indicates the signature line where applicants must sign so the landlord can run a background check.
Resources for Tenant Screening in Raleigh
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 in Raleigh – More on fair housing throughout the city
*Some Raleigh landlords choose to adopt a no blank space policy for all new applications. Therefore, this means they can deny all incomplete applications where people have left blanks for answers.
Raleigh Tenant Screening Process
Many successful landlords know that a tenant screening criteria list is the best way to be consistent when looking through applications. The list gives them a way to fairly compare and evaluate, eliminating discrimination. So, all they need to do is write down the basic qualities and standards they want out of an ideal tenant.
This example of a Raleigh tenant screening criteria list:
- No evictions
- Proof of renter’s insurance
- No smoking
- Credit score above 600
- Income to rent ratio at 3:1
- No criminal history
- One pet (one dog or one cat) with current vaccinations
- No bankruptcies
Raleigh landlords absolutely cannot discriminate against protected classes. These are defined by federal, state and municipal laws, and if landlords aren’t familiar with them, they can review at this website. Federal anti-discrimination information can be found at the hud.gov website.
So Raleigh tenant screening laws include:
- Landlords have no limits on application fees.
- Raleigh landlords cannot discriminate against protected classes.
- Applications that fail the landlord’s personal screening criteria can be legally denied.
Learn more about Raleigh tenant screening laws here.
Check Out Your North Carolina 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 “North Carolina Tenant Screening Process.”
Locating the Best Tenant Screening Services
Landlords just need a professional tenant screening service to run a background check. For a reasonable fee, Raleigh landlords must be able to get a full report that covers:
- Previous addresses
- Judgments and liens
Raleigh landlords will then have the info they need to decide whether to offer a lease. It will be easy to see which applicants will make bad tenants and which ones will make good tenants.
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.