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April 2021 – Can Landlords Choose Between Tenants?

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COVID 19 Update

RMA wishes all our owners safe sequestering!
Please read our COVID 19 update:

Idaho has had a turn for the best with the COVID-19 spread! Hospitalizations are still on the decline.  As of March 23rd, 359 new cases were recorded that day bringing the total number to 178,119 with 1,951 deaths. As of March 23rd, 620,156 doses of vaccine have been administered to Idaho residents.   Idaho has been advanced to Stage 3 Order.

For more information click HERE

For Stage 3 Guidelines Click HERE

For Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine information click HERE

Can Landlords Choose Between Tenants?

By DaNay Salas

When a property becomes vacant, our office is often asked if we accept multiple applications on their property and if we can choose between the applications and “pick the best applicant” for consideration. With April being Fair Housing month, we thought we would discuss this topic and our office procedure. Accepting applications out of order isn’t illegal, but it’s in our best interest as a landlord, to accept (and deny) applicants in the order that we receive them. Receiving applications and screening tenants is one of the biggest parts of managing a rental property.

It is our practice to review applications by order received. We use a first-come, first-served policy and accept the first qualified tenant.  If we selected tenants in a non-chronological order, it could give the appearance of discrimination and a rejected tenant might file a claim. Many landlords use a first-come, first-served policy because it lowers the risk for a discrimination claim.  Our office will inform a prospective tenant that we have an application already processing and they are welcome to submit a backup application to be next in line if the first application does not meet our criteria and is not approved.

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be accepted by our office and our requirements are in compliance with fair housing laws. We evaluate every application in the following manner. Each individual adult, 18 years or older, regardless of marital status, must submit an application for the property, answer all questions on the form, and provide the supporting documents. We will check their credit report, employment references, rental references, and run a background check, to confirm that our rental criteria are met. Our office submits the applications to a third-party screening company to ensure all information is accurate. If they meet our criteria, we will then approve the application. If the first applicant does not meet our criteria, we will notify the applicant that they did not qualify. We will then proceed forward with opening the application submission, or process a backup application, if one has been submitted, and repeat the process.  Here is a link to our Rental Policies that provides qualification information. https://www.rentalsinboise.com/rental-policies/

Being consistent is one of the best ways to meet fair housing compliance. Using the same policies ensures that you do not violate fair housing laws. Documentation is also an important part of the process. You’ll be able to refer to your documentation to prove your history of being fair and consistent if an applicant questions a rejection or files a discrimination claim.  This is why hiring a property management company can help ensure fair, equitable decisions, that are made when accepting new tenants. 

Maintenance Updates

RMA would like to let you know that we are in the beginning stages of scheduling the optional services for 2021.

Optional Services being started in April are:

  • Spring Lawn Clean Up
  • Gutters
  • Spring HVAC Services
  • Sprinklers turned on

The maintenance updates only apply to those of you who have pre-ordered these preventative maintenance services. If you didn’t opt in for a service you read about in this newsletter, and would like to schedule a service, just email MacKenzie at maintenance@rentalsinboise.com to let her know.)

RMA would also like to let you know that if you have a Home Warranty/Builder Warranty, you will be seeing a signable document come into your owner portal for your warranty that must be signed in order for RMA to complete any work with your warranty company on your behalf. That document will be sent out by the end of March to be signed ASAP in April!

Other questions?  Please email MacKenzie.  maintenance@rentalsinboise.com or call: 208-514-4864

Accounting Updates

Accounting would like to inform you that your 1099’s have been sent out for 2020. You can find your profit and loss statements on your Owner Web Access.
If you ever have questions about your statement, please contact your property managers:
Spencer Henderson,
spencer@rentalsinboise.com
Jackie Lusk,
jackie@rentalsinboise.com

If you have trouble logging into your client portal, please contact your property managers or Brandy Kerr at RMAinfo@rentalsinboise.com.

Tenant Update

This month’s tenant newsletter discusses with our tenants the process and reasons our office completes drive by routine surveys of each property, and what we are looking for during those surveys.

Check out our tenant newsletter this month: https://www.rentalsinboise.com/property-management-blog/april-2021-tenant-newsletter/