News: Application and Screening Process

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Property owners can now charge a rental applicant up to $45.99 to cover screening fees, such as a credit check and time spent gathering information on the prospective tenant. The new maximum fee, permitted since December 2014, is 83 cents higher than last year’s fee and is based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. Members can follow this link for a more in-depth explanation of what owners can do – and what they can’t – related to application charges.

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Question: What is the best way to say no to an application and avoid a discrimination lawsuit? The prospect’s credit is worse than he said it was, and I want to avoid trouble. Answer: You are required by law to inform the tenant of the reasons in writing for denying the application if the reason was partially or wholly based upon the credit report. The best way to deliver this news is to inform the prospective tenant that if he or she can get the credit history cleaned up, you would be happy to have this person reapply. Reject the… Read More

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In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 60, which provides for the issuance of drivers licenses to undocumented individuals and specifically prohibits discrimination against an individual because he or she holds or presents a license issued under the new law. Existing California law (Civil Code Section 1940.3) prohibits rental property owners and their agents from making inquiries about a tenant or applicant’s immigration and/or citizenship status.  These laws raise some questions about appropriate screening practices for undocumented applicants. When are the new licenses going to be available? AB 60 set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2015, however, the California Department… Read More

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