Portland Tenant Screening Guidelines
Click on the questions below to find your answer!
What is the procedure for checking availability, viewing and applying for a home for rent?
- All advertising is posted from either on-line sources or from our For Rent signs.
- On-line information is typically “propagated” from our website through a variety of external websites (such as Zillow and Trulia, Hotpads, etc).
- We make every effort to keep our information up-to-date, however:
- Because it is a “fluid” process, some websites may take 24 hours or longer to update their data,
- Therefore, it is not uncommon for units to appear available even if they have a prior application pending or approved.
- Our rental criteria is found on line at our website in the Tenant Information link.
- Appointments may be scheduled by phone at 503-595-4743.
- Appointments are made at the convenience of our showing agent and the current tenant (if unit is occupied).
- All prospects must view the property before submitting an application, we will not accept “place holder” applications.
- Applications are completed on our website and require $55 non-refundable fee to be submitted.
- We may use a third party vendor to conduct some of the screening, which includes verification of income, credit and criminal background checks as well as rental history.
- All completed applications are processed in the order of their receipt, as follows:
- Completed Application = all parties over 18 must have each submitted an application;
- Process = approval, denial or conditional approval based on our rental criteria.
- NOTE: Applications can take several days to process depending on references response times. A good idea is to let prior landlords know that they will be contacted and to input landlord emails or fax numbers in the application.
- We determine, based on the application, whether the applicant meets our screening guidelines.
- We verify income and resources.
- We check with current and previous landlords.
- We obtain a credit report, criminal records report and public records report
- Applications returned with a Conditional Approval generally require either proof of income and/or additional security deposit in order to be accepted.
- Applications are processed in order of receipt with priority going to the ‘first position” and so on. Back-up applications are encouraged.
- A unit is not considered “reserved” simply with a completed, approved application.
- A unit is reserved only when receive the signed “Deposit to Hold” along with a cashier’s check or money order for the stated amount.
- Upon approval, we can generally hold the unit for no more than 10 days once we receive the deposit accompanied with the signed “Deposit to Hold” agreement (within 24 hours of approval).
- Without a signed Deposit to Hold agreement and funds received within 24 hours, properties are considered “pending/available” and may be subject to a denial, allowing a back-up application to proceed, or renewed marketing efforts to be initiated.
- When we have an accepted application and signed agreements, we remove the unit from our website and our For Rents signs are removed typically within 24 hours.
What are the screening criteria?
- Occupancy is based on the number of bedrooms in a unit. (A bedroom is defined as a habitable room that is intended to be used primarily for sleeping purposes, contains at least 70 square feet and is configured so as to take the need for a fire exit into account.)
- The general rule is two persons are allowed per bedroom. Owner/Agent may adopt a more liberal occupancy standard based on factors such as size and configuration of the unit, size and configuration of the bedrooms, and whether any occupants will be infants.
- Current, positive, government-issued photo identification that allows Owner/Agent to adequately screen for criminal and/or credit history will be required.
- Each applicant will be required to qualify individually or as per specific criteria areas.
- Inaccurate, incomplete or falsified information will be grounds for denial of the application.
- Any applicant currently using illegal drugs will be denied. If approved for tenancy and later illegal drug use is confirmed, termination shall result.
- Any individual whose tenancy may constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of any individual, the premises, or the property of others, will be denied tenancy.
- Monthly income my be equal to three times stated rent*, and must be from a verifiable, legal source. If applicant’s monthly income is between two and three times the stated rent, applicant will be required to pay an additional security deposit equal to one month’s rent or provide acceptable co-signers. Income below two times the rent will result in denial.*If applicant will be using local, state or federal housing assistance as a source of income, “”stated rent” as used in this section means that portion of the rent that will be payable by applicant and excludes any portion of the rent that will be paid through the assistance program.
- Twelve months of verifiable employment will be required if used as a source of income. Less than 12 months verifiable employment will require an additional security deposit or acceptable co-signer.
- Applicants using self-employment income will have their records verified through the State Corporation Commission, and will be required to submit records to verify their income, which records may include the previous year’s tax returns.
RENTAL HISTORY CRITERIA
- Twelve months of verifiable contractual rental history from a current unrelated, third party landlord, or home ownership, is required. Less than twelve months verifiable rental history will require an additional security deposit or acceptable co-signer.
- Three or more notices for nonpayment of rent within one year will result in denial of the application.
- Three or more dishonored checks within one year will result in denial of the application.
- Rental history reflecting any past due and unpaid balances to a landlord will result in denial of the application.
- Rental history including three or more noise disturbances or any other material non-compliance with the rental agreement or rules within the part two years will result in denial.
EVICTION HISTORY CRITERIA
Five years of eviction-free history is required. Eviction actions that were dismissed or resulted in a judgment for the applicant will not be considered.
- Negative or adverse debt showing on consumer credit report will require additional security deposits or acceptable co-signers.
- Ten or more unpaid collections (not related to medical expenses) will result in denial of the application.
RENT WELL GRADUATES
If applicant fails to meet any criteria related to credit, evictions and/or rental history, and applicant has received a certificate indicating satisfactory completion of a tenant training program such as “Rent Well,” Owner/Agent will consider whether the course content, instructor comments and any other information supplied by applicant is sufficient to demonstrate that applicant will successfully live in the complex in compliance with the Rental Agreement. Based on this information, Owner/Agent may waive strict compliance with the credit, eviction and/or rental history screening criteria for this applicant.
CRIMINAL CONVICTION CRITERIA
Upon receipt of the Rental Application and screening fee, Owner/Agent will conduct a search of public records to determine whether applicant or any proposed resident or occupant has a “Conviction” ( which means: charges pending as of the date of the application; a conviction; a guilty plea; or no contest plea), for any of the following crimes as provided in ORS 90.303(3): drug-related crime; person crime; sex offence; crime involving financial fraud, including identify theft and forgery; or any other crime if the conduct for which applicant was convicted or is charged is of a nature that would adversely affect property of the landlord or a tenant or the health, safety or right of peaceful enjoyment of the premises of residents, the landlord or the landlord’s agent. Owner/Agent will not consider a previous arrest that did not result in a Conviction or expunged records.
If applicant, or any proposed occupant, has a Conviction in their past which would disqualify them under these criminal conviction criteria, and desires to submit additional information to Owner/Agent along with the application so Owner/Agent can engage in an individualized assessment (described below) upon receipt of the results of the public records search and prior to a denial, applicant should do so. Otherwise, applicant may request the review process after denial as set forth below, however, see item (c) under “Criminal Conviction Review Process” below regarding holding the unit.
A single Conviction for any of the following, subject to the results of any review process, shall be grounds for denial of the Rental Application.
(a)Felonies involving; murder, manslaughter, arson, rape, kidnapping, child sex crimes, or manufacturing or distribution of a controlled substance.
(b)Felonies not listed above involving: drug-related crime; person crime; sex offense; crime involving financial fraud, including identity theft and forgery; or any other crime if the conduct for which applicant was convicted or is charged is of a nature that would adversely affect property of the landlord or a tenant or the health, safety or right of peaceful enjoyment of the premises of the residents, the landlord or the landlord’s agent, where the date of disposition has occurred in the last 7 years.
(c)Misdemeanors involving: drug related crimes, person crimes, sex offenses, domestic violence, violation of a restraining order, stalking, weapons, criminal impersonation, possession of burglary tools, financial fraud crimes, where the date of disposition has occurred in the last 5 years.
(d)Misdemeanors not listed above involving: theft, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, property crimes or any other crime if the conduct for which applicant was convicted or is charged is of a nature that would adversely affect property of the landlord or a tenant or the health, safety or right of peaceful enjoyment of the premises of the residents, the landlord or the landlord’s agent, where the date of disposition has occurred in the last 3 years.
(e)Conviction of any crime that requires lifetime registration as a sex offender, or for which applicant is currently registered as a sex offender, will result In denial.
Criminal Conviction Review Process
Owner/Agent will engage in an individualized assessment of the applicant’s, or other proposed occupant’s, Convictions if applicant has satisfied all other criteria (the denial was based solely on one or more Convictions) and:
- Applicant has submitted supporting documentation prior to the public records search; or
- Applicant is denied based on failure to satisfy these criminal criteria and has submitted a written request along with supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include:
- Letter from parole or probation office;
- Letter from caseworker, therapist, counselor, etc.;
- Certifications of treatments/rehab programs;
- Letter from employer, teacher, etc.;
- Certification of trainings completed;
- Proof of employment; and
- Statement of the applicant.
- Owner/Agent will:
(a)Consider relevant individualized evidence of mitigating factors, which may include: the facts or circumstances surrounding the criminal conduct; the age of the convicted person at the time of the conduct; time since the criminal conduct; time since release from incarceration or completion of parole; evidence that the individual has maintained a good tenant history before and/or after the conviction or conduct; and evidence of rehabilitation efforts. Owner/Agent may request multiple Convictions a part of this process.
(b)Notify applicant of the results of Owner/Agent’s review within a reasonable time after receipt of all required information.
(c)Hold the unit for which the application was received for a reasonable time under all the circumstances to complete the review unless prior to receipt of applicant’s written request (if made after denial) the unit was committed to another applicant.
“When I got engaged, I was referred to The Garcia Group to manage my condo in Tualatin by a friend. Meanwhile, my (then) fiancee found a house for us to rent in SE Portland, and coincidentally, it was managed by The Garcia Group too! So, I have been both an owner and a tenant of theirs, and I can honestly say The Garcia Group has excellent customer service all around.”