Tenant Management: Step 3 The Application

Tenant Management: Step 3 The Application

singel sidor May 29, 2014 | Blog

tenantprocess

Think about a Rental Application as information gathering from the past, the present and for the future. In other words the information you obtain on your Rental Application should allow you to properly screen your applicant’s past and present credit worthiness. But it should also contain information that you could use in the future to help find them if you ever needed to collect an unpaid debt.

le site de rencontre le plus sérieux The first most vital information of course is full name, including their middle name, and any senior or junior, as well as their date of birth and social security number. Credit Reports and Social Security Number Trace Reports pull information from the Credit Bureau based upon name and social security number. They can verify the social security number of the person and can often provide up to seven years past address information.

If a Credit Report or Social Security Number Trace Report does not show any past address information take this as a sign that the person has been avoiding applying for any credit and may be trying to avoid a collection or a garnishment. If a report comes back with an unverified social security number….. BEWARE. Ask to see two forms of identification including their social security card to make certain they are not trying to use someone else’s name or social security number. Yes, people do try this, more often than you would think. Especially if their application has been denied a time or two at an apartment complex.

Beware of anyone who calls about your rental and one of their first questions to you is whether you do background checks. Chances are they are looking for someone who does not.

meilleur site de rencontre americain The second most vital information on a Rental Application is their current address and any past addresses. I encourage you to get addresses for the last 5 years. Why so much address information? Eviction records from the court system are based upon name and address only. Think about it, that’s all you list on an eviction notice. This is the only information the court has when they complete an eviction so it’s the only identifiers that end up on an Eviction Report.

The question is… Would you deny an application if you saw several evictions filed from the same address against your applicant four years ago? It indicates they could be a chronic late payer. So getting as much past address information as you can allows you to properly compare name with address on the Eviction Report against the name and address information on the SSN Trace Report and with the Rental Application. You need a good indicator of rental payment history so this is the first step in finding it.

This brings us to Landlord information.If you see a prior judgment for eviction from a few years ago, you should have the Landlord’s name and phone number to call. If the applicant says they can’t recall names or phone numbers use your County Clerk of Courts or County Auditor website to look up the Landlord information through the Property Tax Records. You can do this with any addresses that the applicant failed to list too. Don’t depend on the applicant 100% to give you correct information. It’s too easy for people to simply list a friend’s name and phone number as their Landlord. Of course you would get a fantastic reference.

Yes, screening a Rental Application is like being a good detective. You must look at all resources possible to make an informed decision about your applicant’s past rental history.

Most felons think that moving to a different state will keep their criminal past a secret. If they don’t want to give you five years of residency, or if the Social Security Number Trace records doesn’t match up with the information that they give you. Consider it a Red Flag and be ready to ask more questions.

Most often when an applicant sees that you are serious about obtaining clear and concise information from them, they will open up themselves and begin to tell you about any problems with credit, criminal activity or evictions that they have had in the past. They will want to explain why they had these problems. Let them tell you. Sometimes the issues are reasonable issues that we can all understand, a lost job, and illness or even a divorce. These are all very relevant factors in determining whether or not an applicant will become a good resident on your property. Sometimes though you will be able to see through their story and know that this is not the right tenant for you. Below are some simple questions to ask your applicant. You will be surprised by how often you will get “yes” answers.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN?
Sued For Non-Payment of Rent? __________
Had an Eviction Filed Against You? ___________
Sued For Damage to Rental Property? _____________

HAVE YOU EVER:
Broken a Rental Agreement or Lease? ______
Filed Bankruptcy? _____ Was it Dismissed? _____

chatting cam free For the Future: Getting information on a Rental Application that could be helpful to you in the future if you need to collect a debt. The best source is at least two personal references. Emergency information is one reason to collect this data, but it can be used to help find them later if needed. Don’t ever send it addressed to the emergency contact’s name, that would be against the laws within the Fair Debt Collection Act.

The final best source for future information is to include a simple sentence at the bottom of your Rental Application that will allow you pull any screening information you want to about them in the future. Here is the sentence:

free local dating sites uk I authorize the Landlord and their agents, including any collection authority, to obtain further address and employment information, and any necessary background screening information before, during and after the lease term for the purposes of collecting past due lease payments, late fees or any other charges that are owed to the Landlord. StatCounter - Free Web Tracker and Counter

 

 

 

Tenant Management: Step 2 How to pre-qualify potential tenants

Tenant Management: Step 2 How to pre-qualify potential tenants

By: Eugene Hacker

If you are using print, craigslist or signage to advertise your rental you face the same basic dilemma. How do you make sure the applicant fulfills the income and credit requirements to rent from you?

Many landlords simply arrange to meet the tenant at the tenant’s convenience and only after showing the unit and answering the tenant’s questions do they ask for a credit application. This can be a huge hassle and waste of time if the tenant does not qualify.

The solution is to become effective at pre-qualifying your applicant.

When an applicant contacts you about your rental you should move to pre-qualify them as soon as possible as to save both yourself and the applicant time if they do not meet your minimum requirements. Believe it or not, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds because most applicants understand that you have to ask these questions.

It is important to note that you should have your requirements figured out before you market the unit for rent.

There are a few ways to accomplish this task:

  1. Just let them know up front:
    ”Before we get to details about the property I need to let you know that we have strict guidelines about the credit and income requirements…do you mind sharing with me your current income ?…”
  2. Work it into the conversation:
    When the tenant asks how much the rent is per month you answer “the rent is $1000 per month so we are looking for a tenant with solid monthly income to comfortably afford that amount…do you mind sharing with me your current income.

You goal is to quickly get through your list of requirements and either pre-qualify your tenant or disqualify them as quickly as possible. At the minimum this list should include: income, stability of income, availability of funds for move in, credit history, foreclosures, evictions, bankruptcy, criminal history, and pets. This can be accomplished over the phone or as an email response depending on how the applicant originally contacted you. Please make sure that your questions and requirements are not in violation of the fair housing laws.

Take notes of everything the tenant says and save this information.

If the applicant does not meet your minimum requirements remain respectful and offer alternatives if they exist (such as having them secure a cosigner or if they could come up with additional security deposit). Ultimately be honest and tell them if they do not qualify rather than dangling them along by saying you will call them later or that you need to talk it over with your partner when neither is true.

If the applicant meets your minimum requirements then you can proceed to schedule a showing or to have them fill out a formal credit application. Following up on a formal credit application is beyond the scope of this article.

Following this basic concept of pre-qualification will save you time and energy in finding the right tenant for your rental.

Step 1 in Tenant Management: 9 Standards to Help Landlords Approve or Reject Tenants

Step 1 in Tenant Management: 9 Standards to Help Landlords Approve or Reject Tenants

Using the chart below, the first step in Tenant Management is “Setting Standards.” This article is designed to help you with this first step. It is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start.

tenantprocess

For those of you new to the landlord game you may ask: Why is it important for me to have written standards which must be met by any and all applicants?

Simple answer…  To keep you out of JAIL!

A less dramatic response might be, so that you could never be accused of randomly selecting or declining tenants based on anything but well thought out and consistently applied standards.  Remember fair housing laws are there for a reason… and there are many “do-gooders” out there to ensure these laws are followed.  And, they would love nothing more then to take down the “big, bad, rich landlord” for not following these laws.  Which by the way require that every applicant must be evaluated and approved or declined in the same manner.

I must admit that it took me a while to get our qualification standards established.  Not so much because we were avoiding the issue, but mostly because we were developing our standards and procedures based on each new experience.   In time however, we did establish these standards… but they were not as robust as they should have been.

In conjunction with our overall discussion regarding standards and avoiding potential trouble during the tenant selection process, my client prepared an initial set of standards that we reviewed.  Those revised standards (thanks George for the idea for this article), plus others that I have used are provided as examples of standards which you could implement in your tenant selection process.

  • Recommended Standards for Approving or Rejecting Tenants
  • The application must be completed in its entirety.  If it is not properly completed it will be discarded and the application process for that potential tenant stopped.
  • Each applicant over the age of 18 must complete an application and go through the application process.
  • Prospective tenant(s) must never have been evicted from a property.
  • Prospective tenant(s) must demonstrate monthly income at least 3.5 times the monthly rent amount.  (this amount can be whatever you desire, with the national standard usually at monthly income equaling 3 times monthly rent).
  • Tenant(s) must have a credit score of at least… (XXX).  Or, tenant must not have any utility judgements levied against them.
  • Tenant(s) must demonstrate that they are currently employed.
  • Tenant(s) must have a clean criminal record.  (Remember, an individual with a criminal background is one of the only NON-protected classes as regards fair housing laws).
  • Previous landlord information provided by the prospective tenant(s) must be verifiable and a favorable recommendation must be obtained from previous landlords.  In many cases today prospective tenants may have been living with  friends or family… so make sure you know who is providing the recommendation for the prospective tenant(s).
  • Current employment information provided by the prospective tenant(s) must be verifiable.
  • Keep in mind that you may not have to include every standard listed above, but whatever standards you decide to implement from the above list or others that you desire based on your business model, they must be applied consistently.  This means that if you require a credit score of 640 for one applicant you must require that score for every applicant.

I would also recommend that you consider providing your list to prospective tenants so that they know how their application will be evaluated.

The bottom line: you need standards and they must be implemented consistently.  To do otherwise is only opening yourself up to more hassles then you would ever care to encounter.

Video Interviews: Helping Recruiters Reclaim Time and Budget

By Winston J Pancake 

Video interviews are usually administered in one of two ways: live (like a real-time video phone call) or prerecorded (also called asynchronous, or oneway). While live video interviews certainly can get rid of many headaches-such as travel for an out-of-town candidate, for example-pre-recorded or asynchronous video interviews are often an even better route for both recruiters and candidates.

Here are a few reasons why:

·       One-way video interviews allow candidates to record responses whenever they’d like. They won’t need to leave their current offices to find a private place where they can speak freely about their job search, for example.

·       Similarly, everyone on your hiring team won’t need to congregate together in a single room to be involved in the video interview. Pre-recorded responses can be sent to a number of interviewers for their feedback, according to their own schedules.

·       You can also use asynchronous recorded interviews to more efficiently filter through the stacks of resumes collected for each job opening. Instead of bringing in dozens of candidates for in-person interviews, you can use asynchronous video interviews as a way to screen applicants in advance, so only the most qualified talent warrants the time and expense of a face-to-face meeting.

·       Of course, because of the hours you save on scheduling and finalizing your candidate list, one-way video interviews can also reduce your time-to-hire, which not only positions your company to compete more effectively, but also preserves valuable budget for finding more great talent down the road.

Today, vendors are still working on developing the technology required to enable video screening. Some are further along in the process than others. A recruiter’s ideal solution would ensure all the expected ease of use for hiring teams as well as candidates, plus a number of nice-to-have features, including:

·       The ability to configure expiration dates on video requests, so candidates must respond within a pre-determined timeframe. Even better, look for a solution that allows you to customize those expiration dates on a per-user level.

·       Personalized introductions, so you can expand on your company’s culture by allowing executives or hiring managers to say a few words.

·       Direct integration with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). If you’re looking to reclaim time, the last thing you want is to increase your data entry load. By integrating video interviews with your ATS, you ensure that candidates’ responses not only fit seamlessly into their existing records, but you get the added value of enriched candidate profiles. Remember, even though someone isn’t a good fit today, they might be a strong match a few months in the future.

For more information

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Ten Reasons to Use Video Interviewing in 2012!

By Ryder Cullison 

Video Interviewing, the process of interviewing job candidates live over the internet, or having them interview themselves with their webcam, is a solution gaining in popularity. For those of you who have yet to adapt this effective, time-saving hiring tool, here are ten reasons why you should embrace video interviewing (or screening) in the New Year.

1. Save money – Video interviewing reduces travel costs associated with bringing candidates in for face-to-face interviews, while online video screening saves valuable staff time spent scheduling and conducting phone screening interviews.

2. Save time – Are your hiring managers wasting valuable time interviewing bad candidates? Video screening allows your hiring managers to more effectively select the best candidates to bring in for a face-to-face.

3. Eliminate scheduling hassles – The demands of scheduling interview times between busy hiring managers and job candidates impedes your time to hire. Allowing candidates to interview themselves at times convenient to them boosts the speed of your hiring process.

4. Discover and attract top talent – Video interviewing allows you to affordably screen more top candidates outside of your immediate geography while the technology demonstrates to them that your organization is on the cutting edge.

5. Hire more effectively – A video interviewing solution that allows you to record the interview (one-way and two-way, something Skype doesn’t offer) enables you and your team to compare candidate responses to one another and review responses repeatedly thus allowing you to hire more effectively.

6. Go Green – What better way to promote the environment’s health than by reducing the carbon emissions associated with flying in candidates for interviews?

7. Reduce discrimination – Administering an automated interview provides a structured interview setting where each candidate answers the same questions thereby reducing discrimination. Seeing and hearing the candidate reduces biases formed from resume viewing only. Recorded interviews provide evidence of your non-discriminatory practices. (And video interviewing is acceptable to the EEOC.)

8. Increase collaboration – Recorded video interviews allow you to share your candidate’s responses with colleagues and members of the hiring team so a more informed decision can be made.

9. More revealing than a phone screen – A large proportion of communication is visual. Using video, you can better gauge a candidate’s enthusiasm for the job by seeing as well as hearing them.

10. Get an edge over your competitors – In the war for attracting top talent, video interviewing will allow you to see more candidates and move top candidates more quickly through the hiring process than can your competitors, ensuring you a better shot at landing them as employees.

Ryder Cullison has more than 10 years of experience working with retained search clients as a search professional. As a pioneer of Interview4 he has great knowledge of video interviewing. He writes about all things hiring and looks forward to engaging with his audience on topics of leadership, recruiting, candidate screening, and employee satisfaction.

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Are You Using Video Interviewing in Your HR Department?

By Todd B Bavol 

As an HR department, you likely spend a great deal of your time and energy finding the best job candidates for your company. You likely post job ads, respond to email inquiries, set up initial interviews, screen them, screen them again, and then conduct formal interviews. How many of those formal interviews do you wish you didn’t have to do? The problem is, people can look good on paper far too easily. It is nothing short of a waste of time, though, when that job candidate really isn’t a good option. What if you could use video interviewing within the HR department to help reduce the number of bad job interviews you need to go through?

Greet the Job Applicant

One of the first ways to use video interviewing isn’t in a two-way conversation. Rather, the HR department will create a video that outlines the company, the job position available, and even what the hiring manager is looking for in a job applicant. By presenting an introduction to the company in this manner, you break the ice, but you also give the job applicant a clear understanding of what you are after. Then, if they make it to the formal job interview, they will likely have all of the requirements in line. Host a Two-Way Conversation

Another way to use video interviewing is with a two-way conversation with the job applicant. You may not want to make this a mandatory step in the hiring process, but with a simple setup, the HR department should be able to offer this as an interview option. It is fast, easy to do, and it can save you both time and money on the hiring process. You simply chat with the other person online, over video conferencing tools. The benefit here is that the job applicant gets to learn about your company. You can hold an initial meeting this way, see the person, listen to what he or she has to say, and then decide if you want to bring the person in for a formal interview.

It is a good idea to consider adding video interviewing to your HR department’s methods of hiring. It gives you a clear way to interact with the potential job applicant and gives you a way to know if you should invest the time into a formal job interview. It could save you time and it will save you money on the hiring process overall.

Todd Bavol is the President and CEO of Integrity Staffing Solutions. Integrity Staffing Solutions is a national staffing firm assisting individuals and corporations in making the right employment fit. To view job openings in Warehouse, Professional and Administrative positions, visit the Integrity Staffing Solutions web site.

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6 Best Practices for Monitoring Employees’ Personal Social Media Posts

By Charles Coy

The use of social media at the office is a tricky one. Some employers draw clear lines around postings to corporate accounts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. But what about the Likes, photos and miscellaneous commentary employees regularly post on their personal accounts? It’s a tricky issue.

For starters, the law on whether employers have the right to monitor activity on personal social media accounts is unclear. Can employers discipline an employee for a late-night Facebook rant against a boss? Or is the employee protected by free speech? Some 12 states have enacted laws that expressly bar employers from gaining access to the social media accounts of either workers or prospective employees. Courts, too, are grappling with the issue.

For now, there are six basic steps that companies can safely take to regulate their employees’ social media use — and avoid a full-blown PR crisis:

1. Encourage employees to maintain separate accounts for personal and professional use. Mixing accounts is risky. Warns Tom Petrocelli, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group: “It’s even okay if you maintain an account for business messaging that is under your control to further your personal brand and include some corporate messages with it, especially as they relate to you. Just keep business in one place and personal in another and don’t blend them together.”

2. Remind employees that disclosing insider information is a no-no — under any circumstance. Companies should make clear that divulging company secrets is against company policy and they should routinely refer to the diktat as a reminder.

3. Create an open — and safe — environment for employees to admit online mishaps. Encouraging employees to confess when they’ve posted an inappropriate comment on social media can help minimize any fallout. Acknowledging a mistake is better for both the employee and employer because it creates a culture of honesty and trust, writes Heather Huhman, founder and president of consulting firm Come Recommended, on BBC.

4. Don’t ask employees to promote the company on their personal accounts. Some companies are asking employees to change their cover photos on their personal Facebook profiles to promote the company. Yet, employers don’t have to look much farther than the Facebook terms of service to find out that using personal timelines for commercial gain is prohibited. If employees want to promote the company by posting pictures of them at the annual summer picnic, more power to them, notes lawyer Ruth Carter of Carter Law Firm. The key takeaway: let them make the choice.

5. Clearly set out when personal social media accounts are accessible by employers. There’s only one scenario in which employers have a fairly clear right to access employees’ social media accounts: workplace investigations. Although an employee claiming discrimination or sexual harassment is likely to volunteer supporting evidence, employers in most states are allowed to request account credentials in cases of alleged wrongdoing, says employment lawyer Eric Meyer.

6. Establish guidelines for those who own the company’s social media accounts from the beginning of employment. “The line between a personal and professional social media account can be blurry,” writes employment lawyer Renee Jackson on Forbes, “so if this ownership issue is not hashed out at the beginning of employment, the employer and the employee may both believe the account is theirs.” Management should create the accounts under the company’s name, manage the logins, and oversee the content posted, recommends Jackson. Specify account ownership and acceptable content in formal job descriptions or offer letters.

Employee Monitoring and Pre-Employment Screening

by Jon Vegosan

If an employer is going to monitor the online activities of its employees, it must strike a careful balance to avoid violating privacy rights. Although companies may think they are protected by policies stating that all activities conducted on company computers may be monitored, such policies are often limited in their reach. The fact that an employee has accessed her Facebook account from work, for instance, does not mean that the employer has free reign to log onto the employee’s Facebook account and poke around. Furthermore, employees may retain a right to privacy in certain cases on public policy grounds regardless of policies. Courts have held, for example, that the right to confidentiality in attorney/client communications made from a work computer override the employer’s monitoring policy.

Employers can also be liable under state and federal statutes such as the Stored Communications Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and various wiretapping laws, as well as common law invasion of privacy theories. One restaurant chain was held liable for accessing a password-protected MySpace site used by employees. After learning that the site was used to bad mouth the company, the employer convinced an employee, allegedly under duress, to turn over the password to company officials. The employees successfully sued under a state privacy law and the Stored Communications Act.

What you know can also hurt you. Information learned by an organization through employee monitoring may trigger further legal obligations. A company may be liable if it learns an employee is using company computers for unlawful activity and does not intervene. One New Jersey court allowed a plaintiff to file suit against her ex-husband’s employer, claiming that it knew he was accessing illegal pornography at work but failed to act. The ex-husband allegedly posted nude photos of his former stepdaughter.

Another exposure comes from information an employer learns that can be used in discrimination suits regarding wrongful termination or other employment actions. For this reason, companies that choose to use social media to monitor employees should (a) identify the categories of information that the employer can legally use; and (b) monitor employees uniformly.

Lastly, companies should obtain employee acknowledgment of policies dictating the extent to which activities may be monitored. Having set these boundaries, an employer should not deviate from them, even if there appears to be implied consent. A federal court in New York, for instance, ruled that the fact that an employee left passwords at his desk did not mean that he had consented to his employer accessing his accounts.

The other major area of risk arises before an employee ever becomes an employee: pre-employment screening. Routine screening of job applicants can lead to various problems, chiefly, exposing yourself to a discrimination lawsuit. Instead of finding red flags, such as drug use or criminal activity, the employer is more likely to discover previously unknown information regarding the applicant’s race, age, religion, sexual orientation or disability. This data, as well as other info that employers are legally prohibited from using as hiring criteria, is widely available online.

If the employer does not hire the screened applicant-even if the decision has nothing to do with the online search-the fact that the employer knows this information is something that can be used against the employer in a discrimination or retaliation lawsuit. This is doubly true if the applicant knows the company screens possible hires. Many social media sites allow users to track who has accessed their profiles, and courts may, in some circumstances, order subpoenas to determine the identities of people who have visited a site. If it is revealed to be a person involved in the hiring decision, a lawsuit may follow.