KNOW YOUR TENANTS: Their Past Is Your Future By Jeffrey Greenberger
I am and have been for quite some time a great advocate of both employee and ten- ant screening at self-storage facilities. The number one reason why I am a proponent, particularly of tenant screening, is that it helps you protect your investment by controlling the quality of those who rent at your facility, which allows you to keep the facility safe for your ten- ants. There are, however, some caveats about tenant screening, which you must be aware of before embarking on such a program.
Consistency Is The Key
If you are going to screen tenants, you must screen all of them. That is, you cannot decide to screen a tenant only when they look “shifty” or dangerous, and save the money when a suburban housewife wants to rent from you.
While fair housing laws do not apply to the rental of self-storage (which prevent you from discriminating based on certain protected classes because of a rental), by renting a unit, you are extending credit to the tenant. Thus, many state Civil Rights or Equal Opportunity organizations or agencies would still have the right to bring some sort of discrimination charge against you if it turned out that you were not screening all applicants or your screening standards tended to target certain groups of people who might be protected by your state’s laws.
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