How to screen prospective student tenantsHow to screen prospective student tenantshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=13012015-04-10T13:48:00Z2015-04-10T08:05:00Z

COLLEGE TOWN USA - Student renters are somewhat of a unique breed of tenants. Quite commonly, they have unique needs and don’t have any rental or credit history, which can make the screening process more difficult.

To help landlords with this process, Places4Students compiled a few tips for screening prospective student tenants.

Considering most rental inquiries will come via telephone or email, a landlord can have a set of questions prepared for potential tenants to save time.

In addition to the standard questions a landlord will ask such as name, contact information and preferred move-in date, the landlord should also get more detailed.

The tenant’s responses could potentially disqualify himself or herself immediately. For example, if a landlord operates a non-smoking or no pet rental, it would be beneficial to ask right away if the tenant has a pet or smokes.

Landlords should also ask more student specific questions. These questions could include:

  • Do you already have a roommate or people you plan to move in with?
  • How long of a lease are you looking for?
  • When does your school term begin?

If a student renter is unable to produce landlord references or a credit check, landlords can alternatively ask for a guarantor, co-signer or character references from an employer, professor, etc.

There are certain questions that a landlord legally cannot ask potential tenants, in a rental application or in person. Any question that could be interpreted as discriminatory under the Fair Housing Act cannot be asked, including familial status, disability, national origin, sex, religion, race and color.

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