International Tenant Screening In Orlando Property Management

International Tenant Screening In Orlando Property Management

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.

Analyze & Make A Plan For 2020 Investment Property Management

Analyze & Make A Plan For 2020 Investment Property Management

No matter how long you’ve owned residential rentals, there is always room to streamline your investment property management program so that it brings you the best returns and economizes on time-demands. As the end of 2019 approaches, it’s a good time to start analyzing what worked for you this year and what needs improvement in the upcoming year.

Are Your Rents On Track?

It’s a good time to research comparable rentals in your market and determine whether your rents are still in line with the current market. It’s not quite as simple as seeing what the highest rents are in the comps you find, though. In most cases, you’ll want to weigh keeping good tenants in place against raising rents, and, of course, you may have to account for any legal restrictions on rent raises. Start with general information, then consider each rental on a case-by-case basis. You determine in some cases that you’d rather keep a reliable, responsible tenant in place than risk losing them over a rental increase. In other cases, you may find that raising the rent is what has to happen, regardless of the tenant’s response.

Analyze Your Spending

Break down your spending on each property over the course of 2019. Do you see areas like maintenance, where making a more careful plan could save you money? For example, would you save money by making bulk purchases of items like faucets and light fixtures, and using the same ones in each of your rentals? Could you save by using one or two colors of paint in all of your units? What about your maintenance and gardening services? Is there a more economical way to get those services? If you’re paying for trash or water, are the tenants abusing those utilities? If so, you may want to consider discontinuing those services at the next lease renewal.

Remember To Account For Your Own Time

 Your own time is a legitimate factor in analyzing whether or not your investment property management program is really delivering good value. If you’re spending too much time trying to fill vacancies, screen tenants, collect rents, and get all the maintenance and repairs covered, you’re probably short-changing yourself. Working with Belmont Management Group can help streamline every aspect of investment property management by efficiently marketing and filling your properties with reliable tenants, offering economical maintenance and repairs, and freeing up your time. Call or contact us online for a consultation and learn more about increasing your returns in 2020!

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 investment property management.


Property Maintenance Tips To Save Time & Money

Property Maintenance Tips To Save Time & Money

When it comes to property maintenance, residential rental owners in Orlando are always looking for ways to save time and money, without sacrificing tenant satisfaction and the overall good condition of their property. It can be hard to know which items will truly benefit, and which will ultimately let you down. Here are some sure-fire ways to cut costs and save hassles:


Many rental investors tend to purchase properties that fall into the same general class, in terms of neighborhood and/or quality. Maybe you tend to buy single-family homes in Winter Park, or maybe it’s condos in Orlando. For units that are similar in price point and tenant expectations, choose as many uniform components across your units as possible. Consider using the same bathroom sink, shower, and kitchen faucets in all your units. Install the same thermostats and water heaters. Choose the same paint colors and flooring materials. You may be able to save money by purchasing in bulk, and you’ll certainly have an easier time of replacing or repairing things when they’re all the same.

Consider Refinishing Over Replacing

 Some items like appliances, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom cabinets can give longer service without looking shoddy and impacting tenant satisfaction, if you refinish them instead of replacing them. If there are some chips or scratches in the finish of the refrigerator or stovetop, the repair materials for these are easy to apply and cost far less than replacing the appliances. Cabinets often look run-down before they’re actually broken and unusable. Refinishing with filler and paint or stain is often a far more economical solution than replacement.

Ditch The Mini-Blinds

Mini-blinds are ethereal, at best. They’re inexpensive, but they’re so easy to damage through normal use and cleaning that even inexpensive units will add up over time. Considering that café curtains are cheap and machine-washable, and the rods to hang them are $5 or less, you and your tenants will probably both be happier, and you’ll save money in the long run.

Think Before Replacing Flooring

Before you replace the carpet, consider that hard flooring like tile, laminate, or even vinyl may be more appealing to tenants, since they’re easier and cheaper to maintain. They’re also easier and cheaper for you, as the owner, because they’ll last through more tenancies.

Make Property Maintenance Ever Easier

You can make property maintenance on your Orlando area rentals even easier and more cost-effective by working with the experienced professionals at Belmont Management Group. We’ll help you achieve a stronger return on each of your investments with fast placement and effective tenant screening, economical maintenance and repairs, and more. Contact us by phone or online for a consultation to learn more.


Note: Please keep in mind that this is an overview of the important points, but by no means does it constitute a complete treatment of property maintenance, and the tips discussed are suggestions for your consideration, not guarantees of performance or savings.

Senior-Friendly Rental Properties Gain An Advantage

Gain An Advantage By Making Your Rental Properties Senior-Friendly

Major changes in the economy and rental market since the recession mean that more people are renting their homes than at any point in the past 50 years, and they’re renting homes much later in life than ever before. A recently updated study from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) shows that nationwide, people aged 45 to 64 years represent 30% of the rental housing market, while those aged 65 years and older represent an additional 15% of the market. That means that about 45% of your potential renters are either late in middle age or senior citizens.

Simple Steps To Making Your Property Senior-Friendly

With 55% of prospective tenants under age 45, property owners should look for a good balance between what may attract seniors and what may turn off younger tenants. Consider these ideas, which offer relatively low-cost implementation and add appeal for older tenants, without making the property feel like a senior center:

Add Handrails – Adding handrails to interior stairs and in bathrooms is one of the lowest-cost changes you can make, and it can help your property’s appeal to seniors by showing them that you’ve already considered this as a potential need.

Consider Flooring When It’s Time To Replace – When you’re planning to replace flooring, consider the fact that having a single flooring material, or as few material transitions as possible, will make it easier and safer for people with mobility issues and people who may need to use a walker in future. Hard floors are easier for tenants to maintain than carpets. 

Low Maintenance Landscape – If you’re not building gardening service into your rental price, consider landscaping that requires minimal watering and upkeep. Make it easy and affordable for your tenants to keep the property looking good.

Easy Parking – Think about where tenants will park their cars and how easy it will be for them to get in and out, and carry things like groceries in. If the existing parking isn’t as easily accessible as it could be, consider making changes that will help your future tenants.

Residential Property Management In Orlando

Belmont Management Group offers professional property management in Orlando and the surrounding area. We take care of time-consuming issues like advertising, tenant screening, leasing and inspections, and ongoing maintenance and repairs. We can also provide you with expert advice on how to make cost-effective changes that will help your property rent and extend tenancy, so you realize the strongest returns on your investments. Call or contact us online to learn more!


Note: Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover all of the requirements of renting to senior citizens.

Is Your Tenant Screening Process FCRA & FHA Compliant?

Is Your Tenant Screening Process FCRA & FHA Compliant?

Many investment property owners who handle their own tenant screening process and rental decisions are unaware that there are state and federal laws that apply to tenant credit and background checks, and how landlords can use that information to make rental decisions. If you’re not consistently practicing a compliant tenant screening process, you could find yourself facing stiff discrimination fines or vulnerable to civil suit from rejected prospective tenants.

What Does The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) Have To Do With My Rental? 

You’re not a credit reporting agency, so this may seem weird, but when you order a consumer report on a prospective tenant, you’re certifying to the agency providing the report that you are going to use that information for a legally “permissible purpose,” in this case, tenant screening. So far, so good.

But if you find something in that report that causes you to reject the tenant’s application or require a co-signer, or require additional rent (these are called adverse actions in legal terminology), the FCRA requires you to notify the party in writing of the adverse action and reason. You must provide the contact information for the company who gave you the report, and let the recipient know that they have a right to dispute the report.

Fair Housing Act And Criminal Background Checks For Tenants

Running a criminal background check on a prospective tenant seems like a no-brainer. Who wants to rent to criminals? In practice, though, landlords are limited in how they use information from a criminal background check to take adverse action against a tenant.

  • A tenant can’t be rejected because of an arrest, if no conviction followed.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that a rejection based on criminal record “accurately distinguishes between criminal conduct that indicates a demonstrable risk to resident safety and/or property and criminal conduct that does not.”
  • People with convictions for distribution or manufacture of drugs can be denied based on those convictions. People with convictions for drug possession cannot.
  • Your treatment of criminal issues must be consistent across all applicants. You can’t reject an application from one person with a drug distribution conviction, and then later accept one from another person with the same conviction.
  • Selective use of criminal history to reject applications based on race, national origin, or other protected characteristics is considered discriminatory.

Stay On The Right Side Of The Law With Tenant Screening

The laws that cover tenant screening are complicated and they’re always changing. It’s easy to see how a landlord could end up breaking the law without even knowing it. The Orlando property management experts at Belmont Management Group help their clients stay compliant with all of the applicable laws, so they can rest assured that their investment property business is in good standing and running smoothly. Call or contact us online to learn more about how working with the professional property management team at Belmont Management can make your rental properties turn the best possible profit for you.



Please keep in mind that this is mostly a summary of the important points, but by no means does it constitute or cover all of the requirements of a compliant tenant screening program.

Hurricane Matthew – What Central Florida Residents Need to Know

As Hurricane Matthew inches closer, Central Florida residents are stocking up on supplies and frantically checking the weather for updates. If you’ve made it out to the grocery store, then you probably already noticed the crowded parking lots, dwindling water supplies, and nearly empty shelves, but is all this scrambling necessary?


Hurricanes should never be taken lightly, and the staying “it’s better to be safe than sorry” rings especially true for Hurricane Matthew. A hurricane’s path can be unpredictable, so it’s important to have all necessary supplies on hand should conditions take a sudden turn for the worse. Indeed, most of Central Florida is already under a hurricane warning, and there is speculation that Hurricane Matthew could become a Category 4 storm by Thursday evening or Friday morning.

What should we expect in Central Florida?

Hurricane Matthew’s expected impact on Central Florida is still largely unknown. Forecasters believe we’ll see roughly four to seven inches of rain, though this number may change depending on how close the storm comes to land. Heavy rain, high winds, and power outages are to be expected, and Governor Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency for all Florida counties.

How should you prepare?

Should we loose power, you’ll want to have all necessary supplies on hand.

We recommend stocking up on all the below items:

  • Food and Medicine: Keep your pantry stocked with enough non-perishable food for you and your family (including pets!) to last at least a few days. Also be certain that you have all necessary medications ready, as pharmacies may be closed for a few days following the storm.
  • Water: The American Red Cross recommends having one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Emergency Supplies: It’s a good idea to stock up on flashlights, batteries, and first aid supplies. Also be certain that your portable cell charger is ready to use, as you many need the extra battery life to call loved ones or emergency services.
  • Money: Power outages may prevent you from being able to withdraw money from the bank, so we recommend withdrawing some cash before the storm in case you need it.


The last thing you’ll want to worry about during a hurricane is whether or not you are prepared. We at Belmont Management Group are especially invested in the safety and comfort our tenants and owners. We encourage you to take all necessary precautions and remember that there is never any harm in being over prepared!

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are delighted to have this opportunity to share our stories, discuss industry developments, and keep our readers updated on all the wonderful amenities Central Florida has to offer. At Belmont Management Group, we strive to persistently improve and cultivate long lasting relationships with both our tenants and property owners. This blog will allow us to stay connected, offer property management and investment advice, and respond to your feedback. We hope to captivate as well as inform, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts as we continue on this journey!