Tenant Background Screening Attorney in Fort Worth, Texas

One of the most important things landlords can do to protect their rental property is to carefully screen prospective tenants. Landlords must learn how to make reasonable and business-related judgments when selecting tenants. A credible Fort Worth tenant background screening attorney can help you know and understand the legal process of screening a tenant.

At Girling Law Firm, we have extensive experience in screening potential tenants. Our legal team ensures that we meet all your needs in screening tenants for your rental properties. We will help you decide as to whether the tenant deserves to be approved outrightly, conditionally, or denied.

What is Tenant Background Screening?

Fort Worth tenant background screening attorneysTenant background screening is a process that landlords or property managers take to do a thorough background check on a prospective tenant. It determines whether or not a prospective tenant’s application will be approved or denied. Its purpose is to assess the likelihood that the applicant will fulfill the terms of the rental agreement.

With the help of a Fort Worth tenant background screening lawyer, you can protect your property and your reputation as a property owner. The results of the screening will be used to evaluate whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for tenancy. When you properly screen prospective tenants, you get peace of mind knowing that you will rent your property to the best tenants.

What are the Texas Tenant Background Screening Laws?

There are tenant background screening laws that a landlord must follow before choosing a tenant. These laws help landlords and property managers select the best tenant for their rental properties. A reliable tenant background screening attorney in Fort Worth TX can help ensure that you comply with the state laws and federal regulations during the tenant screening process.

In Texas, the law states that there is no limit on how much landlords can collect for an application fee. This fee is non-refundable, whether the application is approved or denied. Any landlord can legally deny an application if it doesn’t meet their personal and legal criteria. Furthermore, security deposits are different from application fees and are treated as separate financial transactions.

Landlords with property in Texas should be aware of these specific regulations. You must know all about tenant background screening laws to ensure that you will attract the best applicants and stay on the right side of the law.

What are Federal Fair Housing Laws?

The majority of landlords in the United States are governed by the laws of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This comprehensive federal legal protection covers rights and protections for applicants and tenants to get fair consideration. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers and enforces the Fair Housing Act.

Federal law sets out several guidelines meant to prevent discrimination against people based on broad demographic or physical factors. Protected classes under the Federal Fair Housing Laws include:

  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • Familial Status
  • Color
  • Mental or Physical Disability
  • Religion

Federal and state fair housing laws regulate the tenant background screening process. If an applicant suspects they were rejected because of one of these characteristics, they could pursue a fair housing complaint. A knowledgeable tenant background screening attorney in Fort Worth can help you stay compliant with the federal and state fair housing regulations. Now that you know what tenant screening laws apply to you, it’s time to look at what facts you will consider in making your decision.

How Can I Legally Screen Tenants?

In Texas, landlords must provide a written explanation of their tenant selection criteria to all applicants. This document outlines the different qualifications that are necessary for any landlord to approve an applicant for their rental property. Every landlord has the right to run a comprehensive background check on applicants, but only if they have signed a document giving consent for you to do so.

This background check helps landlords decide whether or not the applicants will make good tenants. A skilled tenant background screening lawyer in Fort Worth TX can guide you throughout the tenant background screening process.

Landlords should check the applicant’s identification card and verify if all the information contained on the rental application is valid. All prospective tenants must fill out a written rental application using their personal identifying information such as:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Current income
  • Recent employment history
  • Felony convictions
  • Past evictions
  • Previous landlords
  • Past bankruptcies

All the personal and financial information that you have gathered in the application form can be used to run a credit and criminal background check. Good credit will indicate an applicant’s ability to pay rent on time. You can also request a reference from a former landlord to find out if the potential tenant has a history of damaging property, violating lease agreements, complaints by neighbors, police visits, or late rental payments. You can scout the applicant’s social media, conduct interviews, ask for employment verification, and document their proof of income. It’s legal to ask for all this information and use it to make rental decisions.

Why Choose Girling Law to Conduct Your Tenant Background Screening?

As a landlord, it is important to be clear and fair when screening potential tenants. You have to make sure that you thoroughly run background checks, call their references, verify financial information, and get everything in writing with a lease agreement once you’ve settled on the right tenant. Once you’ve gathered a few qualified applicants, you need to find a tenant screening service. The tenant screening service reports should include records of past evictions, past bankruptcies, all judgments and liens, and prior addresses.

If you have questions about tenant screening or other legal matters relevant to rental property, do not hesitate to consult our experienced Fort Worth tenant background screening attorneys at Girling Law. Our dedicated landlord law firm can help you perform a proper background check needed to get a true picture of what kind of tenant an applicant will be.

Call us now to get started on your prospective tenants’ background screening.