Do you screen your own tenants for your investment property in South Florida? It’s important to remember that tenant screening when trying to rent out your real estate investment properties can be fraught with potential liability. Major risks include violating federal acts such as the Federal Fair Housing Act or the Federal Credit Reporting Act (remember that you can get a free copy of your credit report annually either by telephone, mail or through the government authorized website). The Fair Housing Act identifies seven protected classes: religion, national origin, race, ancestry, sex, familial status and disability. The Credit Reporting Act requires that if you turn potential tenants down you are required to provide them with a written notice explaining why they were turned down if the reason was to any extent based on their credit report.
To reduce your liabilities and increase your odds of getting good tenants for your investment properties, consider using a South Florida property management company or an objective third party (such as a screening company) to handle the screening of your tenants.