There’s a lot of economic and cultural activity in Tucson, attracting new residents from near and far. For those with rental property in Tucson, there should be no problem finding applicants to fill any vacancies. When it comes to sorting out the best applicants from those that are questionable, it’s a good idea for landlords to follow the Tucson tenant screening process.
In this post, Tucson landlords will discover:
- Tucson tenant screening laws
- All kinds of free landlord resources
- The overview of the application screening process
- How to located the best tenant screening service
Tenant Screening Tucson Laws
In order to make the process fair for both landlords and applicants, Tucson tenant screening laws are in place to make it happen. While landlords in Tucson are subject to federal and state laws, there are also city laws that can add additional regulations they must comply with.
Tucson tenant screening laws include:
- Tucson landlords have no limits on what they can charge for an application fee.
- Any application fee is not refundable.
- Security deposits and application fees are separate transactions in Tucson.
These are just the beginning of Tucson’s tenant screening laws. Landlords must get up to speed on what each law means because they can get into legal trouble if they are not compliant.
Avoid This One Screening Mistake
If there was one screening mistake that landlords in Tucson should avoid, it is the failure to get a signature from the applicant. In order to run a background check, it’s necessary for landlords to get consent. Unless a Tucson landlord collects a signature from an applicant, they won’t be able to run a background check. Existing applications should be modified to contain a space for a signature.
Here’s how we do it at RentPrep:
The top arrow shows that there is a non-refundable application fee.
The bottom arrow indicates where the applicant should sign.
Resources for Tenant Screening in Tucson
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
- Southwest Fair Housing Council – Ensures fair housing compliance from landlords
*Think about a no blank space policy when reviewing applications. This means if any questions are not answered or “left blank,” they can be denied further processing.
Tucson Tenant Screening Process
Creating a Tucson tenant screening criteria list is a big help for many landlords as they try to determine that an applicant is worth looking at. All they do is write up a list of features they want in a tenant. It should set minimum standards of credit, past behavior and even about pets. If landlords can create a realistic portrait of the type of renter they want, they can use the tenant screening criteria list to find the best tenants.
Here’s an example of a Tucson tenant screening list:
- No evictions
- Credit score at least 600
- No smoking
- Only one dog under 20 lbs with current vaccination
- No bankruptcies
- Income to rent ratio must be 3:1
- No violent criminal history
Tucson landlords can put all kinds of criteria on the list, but it cannot include anything that discriminates. There are several protected classes of people that are not to be discriminated against. When it comes to applications and rentals, landlords can learn more about the fair housing laws in Tucson here and also go to the hud.gov website to brush up on the federal laws.
Tucson’s tenant screening laws include:
- No limits placed on how much a landlord may charge as an application fee.
- Tucson landlords can create a tenant screening list and sort applications based on it.
- Under no circumstances can landlords in Tucson discriminate against protected classes.
Tucson landlords need to know the city’s tenant screening laws inside and out or else they could face some significant legal trouble.
Check Out Your Arizona 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 “Arizona Tenant Screening Process.”
Find the Best Tenant Screening Service
Landlords won’t go wrong when they use a professional tenant screening service. It’s really the only way to get a thorough background checks done on rental applicants. As long as the company charges a modest fee for a full report, the tenant screening service will help landlords make important decisions.
The best screening reports should include information on:
- Previous evictions
- Every bankruptcy
- Judgments or liens
- Address history
After a background check has been run, Tucson landlords will be able to select the applicant they feel will be the best for the rental property. Instead of a gut feeling, smart landlords rely on the facts presented by a tenant screening company.
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.