Rules and regulations to follow during the application process
At Top Properties, we have a rigorous background check for all of our applicants. We have streamlined and perfected this process to make sure our property owners are compliant with all fair housing practices. As a landlord, you have to play by the rules the government has put in place while finding the best applicant for your property. Top Properties is your partner in this process and will guide you through the application process in an efficient, compliant and successful fashion.
When we have a qualified application we must move forward with them. We cannot and should not wait to “collect applications” and see if something better comes along. According to our legal counsel, this opens us *and you* up for lawsuits, including discrimination lawsuits and fair housing lawsuits that are very hard to defend and VERY costly. If we have a qualified applicant and are not moving forward, that applicant has a stronger case that we/you discriminated in some way. The following is our lawyers’ suggested best practices and what this means to you:
For applicants must have set criteria for application approval. Top Properties has outlined the following:
- 2.5 times income-to-rent ratio (or greater)
- Good to excellent credit
- No Felonies
- No evictions or bankruptcies
- Meets Owner’s pet criteria
- Favorable responses from employer
- Favorable landlord reference
- Move-in date is within 2 weeks of the preferred move-in date provided on the new owner information form. If preferred move-in date has passed, move-in is within 2 weeks of application.
Once an application has met these criteria, this is our process.
- When we have an applicant that clearly meets these criteria, we will upload their application to your Owner Portal and we will send the primary Owner an email, a text, and a voice call (with message if necessary) stating that we have a qualified applicant and will move forward in 24 hours if we do not hear back from you.
- Yes – we *will* continue to market and show your property, and accept and screen applications. Our lawyers made it clear that we should move forward with any qualified applicant.
- *IF* we receive a better applicant during the 24 hours you are reviewing, we ARE allowed to move forward with that applicant instead. When this happens, you will be notified by your PM in the same way you were with the original applicant: with an email, text, and voicemail, but the timing will still be 24 hours from the 1st applicant we sent you. This will allow us to move forward with the BEST applicant, without necessarily losing the 1st applicant. We have a comprehensive algorithm that takes into consideration ALL the criteria and will rate our tenants from 1-10. Your PM will take into account your pet criteria and the number of occupants. If any applicants are close or equal on this rating, your PM has the experience and expertise and will consider any smaller comments or details to choose the best applicant.
- Please note – you still have the ability and the right to DENY or VETO any tenant. But also know that IF the applicant passes our criteria for auto-approval, we will strongly advise against this veto. Again, this is 100% based on our legal counsel’s strong urging to avoid discrimination and/or fair housing law violations. We are here to protect YOU.
- This will also streamline GREATLY our ability to show your properties, as they will move more quickly. We have had many, many situations where we lost highly qualified tenants due to an owner’s hesitation or reluctance to move forward. With our system’s algorithm and our manager’s personal review, we are confident in our approvals and are excited to share these approvals with you.
- In the case we have an applicant who is “approved with conditions,” we will contact you in the same way (email, text, and voicemail) to let you know we have a tenant who meets MOST of our criteria and will recommend the conditions to move forward. Many times, this is lower credit score or too many misdemeanors, etc. We may recommend collecting more security deposit or perhaps last-month’s rent. We will *not* automatically move forward with any tenant that does not fully meet our outlined criteria above. *IF* another fully approved applicant comes in while you are reviewing this type of applicant, we will always let you know and begin moving forward with that fully-approved applicant.
There are honestly too many “If” situations to list here. Please know we are working on your behalf and always for your best interest. We want to keep you out of court and away from hefty fines and possible jail time.