Tenant background checks are an essential part of the tenant screening process.
There are over 3.5 million eviction cases each year in the United States. If you want to avoid the long, drawn-out eviction process, then you need to prioritize quality tenant screening practices. Not doing so risks the well-being of your property and your sanity as a landlord.
Finding great tenants might seem like a daunting prospect, but it doesn't have to be difficult when you do a tenant background check. These checks help you understand the type of person renting your unit, but there are strict laws dictating what you can and can't do as a landlord.
In today's post, we'll take a closer look at the Texas tenant background check laws, so keep reading and let us help you protect your real estate investment.
What Are Tenant Background Checks?
A tenant background check gives a landlord a thorough overview of a potential tenant. It takes everything into account, including the criminal history, employment status, previous evictions, education, and credit status of the tenant.
Armed with all of this information, the landlord can make a decision on whether or not they're a good fit as a tenant. Although it's important to have information about a prospective tenant, landlords must abide by tenant background check laws.
Tenant Background Check Laws in Texas
Tenant screening laws exist to protect both parties, but more specifically to protect tenants' rights. As a landlord, the laws prevent you from using discriminating factors to prevent a tenant from a successful rental application.
The most important thing to pay attention to is the Fair Housing Act. This ensures all tenants get fair consideration, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, familial status, or disabilities.
Another aspect of tenant screening laws has to do with felons. Although the Fair Housing Act doesn't deter landlords from screening out those with criminal histories, the HUD recognizes this as a major issue.
In Texas, you have to give applicants a written explanation of the criteria you use to evaluate them. If criminal history is a major factor in your decision, it's incumbent upon you to let the applicant know.
How Rental Background Checks Help
Rental background checks help you avoid lease violations with tenants. If you properly screen your applicants, you'll end up with desirable tenants that occupy your units long-term. Without background checks, you can't be sure what you're getting.
In the worst cases, you'll have to evict a tenant. This can be an exhausting process that costs a lot of time and money. If you don't want to deal with it, it's in your best interest to perform background checks.
How a Property Manager Can Help
Being a landlord is tough work, especially when it comes to tenant screening. If you're finding it overwhelming, it can be helpful to hire a property manager. Not only will property management help you adhere to tenant background check laws, but they'll also help with every other aspect of rental property ownership.
PMI United is Denton's top property management service. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with tenant marketing, tenant background checks, property maintenance, and lease enforcement.