Landlords Bend Tenant Screening Policies for Homeless

by Chris on November 24, 2014

Landlords in King County, Washington have been bending the rules. But, it’s for a good cause: reducing the number of homeless in the area.

tenant screeningHomelessness has climbed recently throughout the Northwest as vacancy rates dropped. The problem has prompted lawmakers into considering new rules that affect tenant screening, including a push for limits on the use of criminal and eviction reports.

High-risk tenants, like those with poor credit or past evictions, spell income loss for landlords. As a result, once a tenant has a bad history, it becomes virtually impossible to find housing.

A novel program spearheaded by the Landlord Liaison Project is designed to buffer those losses for landlords who are willing to modify their tenant screening policies in order to accommodate rental barriers such as a past eviction, criminal background, or bad credit.

LLP says their clients’ rental history problems often stem from extenuating circumstances such as an illness, divorce, or other misfortunes that eventually lead to homelessness. Through LLP’s program, landlords who agree to apply alternative tenant screening criteria gain access to loss mitigation funds that cover any damage that may be caused by higher-risk tenants.

As additional incentive, landlords who participate are provided assistance in filling vacancies and rapid response dealing with tenant issues, including eviction prevention, via a 24-hour call-in line. Tenants are counseled through the agency’s “Ready to Rent” classes.

The model is proving successful. LLP reports that out of it’s 1,750-plus client list, 94% have remained stable tenants for at least one year. Over 201 landlords throughout King County have participated in the program, according to LLP.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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