To our fellow agents who are showing our listed properties and presenting applications for our managed properties – We appreciate those agents who are working with renters and addressing that important segment of the housing market.
Please remember that we are representing the landlords and that a rental application is a request (offer) from a perspective tenant to rent a home. All applications are screened for credit profile, criminal history, rental or mortgage history, and income verification. If an applicant meets our screening criteria, we will make a recommendation to the landlord regarding acceptance. Note that the owner has the final decision as to whether an application is accepted.
Due to our agency relationship with the landlord, you’ll find that our application process shares many of the same dynamics as the sales offer process.
- We present all offers to the landlord
- We continue presenting all offers to the landlord until a lease is signed (unless the landlord instructs us otherwise)
- A tenant may be fully qualified to rent one of our managed properties, but a landlord may accept another application that offers an earlier move-in date, a longer lease term, a higher rental amount, does not have pets, or any number of other attractive terms.
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that we provide the applicant with an adverse action letter if their application was not accepted due to information obtained from a credit reporting service. Other than that requirement, the landlord is not required to share why a particular application was not selected.
Some property managers choose to accept the first qualified application that they receive without considering any other applications that are submitted later. We believe this is equivalent to accepting the first full price sales offer without looking at a second offer that may have been submitted with more attractive terms. An agent would never consider that to be in their seller’s best interest. Similarly, we are looking out for our landlord’s best interest when we review all applications that are submitted and allow the owner to choose the one that best meets the goals they have for their rental property.
Other property managers sometimes choose to approve the first qualified application that they receive due to a concern that allowing for consideration of multiple applications could lead to an accusation of a fair housing violation. This is especially prevalent in the multifamily housing industry. Our application screening process must comply with fair housing regulations. We have many steps in place to ensure compliance. We have just decided to follow fair housing guidelines and laws rather than to let them completely override the best interest of the landlords.
Thank you for connecting your client to one of our managed properties. Thanks also for your professional contribution to our industry and our local marketplace.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a specific application or our process in general, please contact our Managing Broker, Michele Odems at 703-963-6540.