Texas Tenant Screening Background Checks
It is unfortunate that every tenant is not an ideal tenant and extra measures such as extensive tenant screening is crucial. You want to make sure that your tenant is not a convicted felon or prone to destroying property during every tenancy. When you properly screen prospective tenants, you get the peace-of-mind that you are taking necessary steps to rent to the best tenants and that protects you as the owner or manager of the property. The American Apartment Owners Association provides comprehensive Texas Tenant Screening Forms and packages to meet all your needs in screening tenants for residential properties. It is imperative to use more than just a generalized tenant screening form that verifies credit and current address or employment. That is why the AAOA provides extensive Texas Tenant Screening tools. Screen for previous evictions, criminal history, including convictions for serious offenses such as sex offender or terrorism. Expand the scope of the screening beyond Texas to other states and even to the national screening and federal search level.
Bad tenants do not only tarnish their own reputation; they can tarnish yours as a trusted Texas landlord. With appropriate Texas tenant screening, you can better protect your Texas properties and your reputation as a property owner or property manager who takes steps to carefully screen applicants.
Texas Property Code Sec. 92.3515 provides that at the time of application, the landlord must “make available to the applicant printed notice of the landlord’s tenant selection criteria and the grounds for which the rental application may be denied, including the applicant’s:
- Criminal history;
- Previous rental history;
- Current income;
- Credit history; or
- Failure to provide accurate or complete information on the application form.
The prospective tenant then signs that the information was made available by the landlord. It is important to get the tenant to sign that the screening exclusion information was made available; otherwise this could render a potential rebuttal to refusing to rent to a prospective tenant in the State of Texas. This pre-screening information is permitted to be included in an application for rental of a particular rental property. It must state:
“Signing this acknowledgment indicates that you have had the opportunity to review the landlord’s tenant selection criteria. The tenant selection criteria may include factors such as criminal history, credit history, current income, and rental history. If you do not meet the selection criteria, or if you provide inaccurate or incomplete information, your application may be rejected and your application fee will not be refunded.”
Reminder: This information is a general summary of Texas Landlord Tenant Laws and is not meant to substitute for the legal advice, nor is it meant to encompass all laws and statutes governing Texas Property Codes.
The American Apartment Owners Association provides tenant screening background checks nationwide. Looking for a tenant screening report in a state other than Texas? Visit our Tenant Screening Background Checks page to learn more.