Can owners review rental applications and be involved in the decision making process of accepting applicants?
Generally no- for a few reasons;
- Fair Housing Laws– owners pay us to be experts in national, state, and local laws governing the housing process. We are familiar with criteria we can, and cannot, use to evaluate an applicant. Most owners are not fully familiar with these rules and they expose all parties to liability if they become involved and either intentionally or unintentionally discriminate based on protected criteria.
- FCRA– when we run a background check on tenants, we have obligations relating to their personal data. We are subject to rules about who is permitted to see the information, how it is stored, and how it is used. If owners handle this data they are opening all parties to liability and potentially steep penalties if it’s misused.
- Expediency– in many cases, rental applicants are exploring multiple different possibilities for housing. If we can’t be quick with our evaluations and communication with tenants we can miss out on great tenants who will apply and accept offers for competing rentals. We need to be able to process applicants without waiting on owner approval to be most competitive and return value for your properties.
- Trust– when owners sign a Management Services Agreement with Otter Property Management they are taking a significant leap of faith in entrusting our team with a major investment. Owners perform due diligence on our company, team, performance, and values before deciding to hand over their assets to our care. They trust our ability to balance risk, and the fact that we would never recommend a tenant we wouldn’t place if we owned the property ourselves.
that being said- owners do have final approval for signing a lease. It’s your property. If you don’t want to sign a lease you don’t have to do so. Please be aware that our Leasing Fee is due when we find a suitable tenant and collect a deposit, regardless of owner approval