Tenant Screening Tuesday | Accepting Unqualified Roommates
Many times you have applicants that will apply in groups of two or more. This can create a very unique situation when it comes to screening. If both applicants apply and meet your criteria perfectly, then you carry on with no worries. But what if that isn’t the case?
Have you ever had two individuals apply to live in your unit together and only one pass your criteria? How do you handle this situation? Do you deny both applicants? Do you send both applicants an Adverse Action Notice? What can you do?
As I said this creates a very unique situation, however, the answer can be very simple and offered in the form of a question – “What do you want to do?” In a situation like this you as the decision maker, you get to decide what direction you go.
Denial – You can simply send an Adverse Action Notice to everyone that applied and deny them as whole. When doing this you want to be careful to not reveal personal information to anyone other than the individual with the reason for the denial.
Approved with Conditions – You can approve the household to live in your unit, but add additional conditions based on the adverse action needed for one individual. The condition of the approval could be a range of different things depending on which part of the criteria they do not meet. I would encourage you to be fair when determining your conditions. Examples of this can be:
- Only allow the people who passed the screening to sign the lease
- Higher deposit
- Shorter Lease Term
Approved – You can approve the household with no additional conditions, based on the strength of the other individual’s application. However, you may want to consider having the individual that did not meet your criteria listed as an authorized occupant only. Listing them in that manner means they cannot holdover should the other tenants vacate; they’re required to move out when the tenants who sign the lease do.
As you see there are many ways to address this unique situation. How have you addressed a similar scenario where all the applicants in a household did not meet your criteria?