Why timestamping applications is important
You might be surprised to learn that, as a landlord, you’re not legally required to pick tenants based on the order they submit their applications. However, there’s a solid case for following this practice and it all has to do with the Fair Housing Act.
What is the Fair Housing Act?
The Fair Housing Act was created to make sure that tenants get an equal opportunity when it comes to applying for a rental. For landlords, that means there are some important guidelines you need to follow in order to avoid possible lawsuits. To stay within the law, you can’t choose new renters based on race, religion, familial status, disability, or sex.
How do I avoid legal trouble when selecting new tenants?
Even if you don’t do it intentionally, handpicking tenants based on what you like about their applications might be construed as discrimination and could end up violating the Fair Housing Act. Instead, most landlords choose to go down the list in chronological order if they have multiple people applying for the same property.
Once you’ve determined who applied first, you can run a credit and background check, call their references, and then make a final decision that aligns with discrimination laws.
(To help navigate the reasons you’re legally able to reject a potential tenant, check out this guide.)
By organizing online applications on your landlord dashboard, Rentler makes it easy to see which potential tenants are next on the list.