In a rental market like Orlando, we have a huge variety of potential tenants, including immigrants who may be here for school, for business, or for any number of other reasons. Tenant screening is a challenging part of property management in the best of circumstances. Making rental decisions about tenants who may not have a social security number, or whose social security number is recently issued and has no credit history behind it takes a little extra work.
Why Do I Need To Consider Dealing With This?
You may be wondering why you’d want to consider establishing policies for renting to tenants who require extra work to screen. The truth is that many immigrants who come to Orlando for a job already have an excellent credit history in their home countries and make reliable tenants. According to a study (page 17) from Joint Center For Housing Studies Of Harvard University, about 20 percent of renter households nationwide are headed by an immigrant, and about half of all immigrants in the United States are renters. That’s a large group of prospective tenants no rental property owner can afford to ignore.
Establish Your Tenant Screening Policy
Like any other tenant screening issue, consistency is a key factor in maintaining legal compliance and protecting yourself against claims of discrimination. It’s illegal to reject tenants based on national origin, and prospective tenants are covered by the Fair Housing Act, whether they are legal immigrants or not. International tenant screening requires your tenant screening policy to specify what criteria will be used to evaluate applicants when the usual credit and background checks can’t apply. You may establish a set of alternative tenant screening criteria, such as income and bank statements, references from a tenant’s employer, or their credit record in their home country. Whatever criteria you set should be publicly available and consistently applied, just like the screening criteria for any other applicants.
Professional Tenant Screening & Property Management
If you’re a residential rental landlord in Orlando, working with Belmont Management Group for professional tenant screening and property management services makes it easy to maintain legal compliance while taking advantage of the entire pool of prospective tenants available. Call or contact us online for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help your investment properties bring the best returns possible.
Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover the entire topic of international tenant screening.