Major metropolitan cities like San Antonio are bursting with rental properties. As a landlord in The Alamo City, you’ll want to make every effort to attract the best applicants. Doing a thorough job of tenant screening is the right way to fill your units. San Antonio tenant screening laws influence every part of the process.
If you aren’t very familiar with the laws regarding tenant screening San Antonio has a lot of resources for you. In this post, you’ll discover:
- San Antonio tenant screening laws
- Free resources for landlords
- Basics on the tenant screening processes
- Finding the best tenant screening services
Tenant Screening San Antonio Laws
Landlords in San Antonio are subject to state laws as well as city laws. San Antonio landlords like you will want to stay up to date on all the city’s tenant screening issues. Failure to follow them can lead to problem tenants and even legal trouble.
Just a few interesting things about San Antonio tenant screening include:
- Landlords don’t have a limit on the amount of an application fee they can charge
- In San Antonio, application fees are not refundable
- Application fees are different from security deposits, which have their own set of rules and regulations
You’ll save both time and money when you know all you can about San Antonio tenant screening laws. This website can help keep you linked in on what’s going on with the city.
Never Make This Common Screening Mistake
You and other San Antonio landlords should check to see if your rental applications have a place for a signature from the applicant. That’s because in the city, landlords need written consent to run a background check on rental applicants. If you are a San Antonio landlord and you don’t have a signature, you can’t do a background check on an applicant. There’s no better time to update your forms for your next vacancy.
If you need an idea of what to do, check out this rental application at RentPrep:
See how the top arrow reminds applicants that the application fee isn’t going to be refundable. The bottom arrow points out the very important signature line, which gives landlords the right to run a background check.
Resources for Tenant Screening in San Antonio
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
- City of San Antonio Fair Housing Program – A fine guide to avoiding discrimination
*Ever thought about a no blank space policy? It’s a fair way to eliminate any incomplete applications you might receive. Just look at the application and if you see any blank spaces for answers, stop processing it right away.
San Antonio Tenant Screening Process
Finding the best tenant for your rental properties means you need to find the best applications among those submitted. Consider creating a San Antonio tenant screening criteria list. By including the qualities you want in a tenant, you can sort through the applications and only keep the ones that meet your standards.
Here’s an example of a San Antonio tenant screening criteria list:
- No prior evictions
- No smoking
- Income to rent ratio: at least 2:1
- 2 positive character references from non-relatives
- No criminal history
- No bankruptcies
Of course, you can’t include features that would be considered discrimination such as race or disability. San Antonio landlords must abide by all the federal, state and municipal discrimination standards. Note that big cities like San Antonio often have even more strict discrimination laws than the state does. Look at this website for discrimination issues in San Antonio. For more on federal housing discrimination, see the hud.gov website.
San Antonio screening laws include:
- The city has more protected classes than the state when it comes to discrimination protection.
- Additional protected classes include veteran status, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Landlords can legally deny an application that doesn’t meet their screening criteria as long as they are not discriminating.
San Antonio landlords can look here to find out even more on the city’s landlord/tenant laws.
Check Out Your Texas 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 “Texas 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 will show you the ins and outs of tenant screening.
Take the time to go through this guide and your future self will thank you.
Finding the Right Tenant Screening Services
Figured out the best two or three applicants? Great! Now it is time to run a background check on them. Once you identify a fine tenant screening service, you are almost ready to select who will become your new tenant. Locating the best tenant screening services isn’t hard, but you do need to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
San Antonio landlords must find a tenant screening company that reports on:
- Previous addresses
- Judgments and liens
Make sure you review results of the background check before making your final decision on who to extend the lease to. There’s no doubt that following the San Antonio tenant screening process will lead you to the best 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.