Screening Tenants Consistently for Fair Housing

Under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act (click here for Fair Housing resources), it is illegal for landlords to refuse to rent or sell a dwelling based on an applicant’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

Does your management company base their applicant approvals on documented evidence of an applicant’s ability to pay or not pay, or do other items factor into your decision process?
Fairness and consistency play a large role when screening tenants. It’s important to establish a set of criteria that all staff must follow starting with:

Interpreting the Credit Report
While it’s easy to quickly glance at a credit report and get a sense of an applicant’s risk, many companies look beyond just credit report numbers and consider other factors as well. Just remember that if you are willing to work with an applicant with a low credit score, you must extend that same courtesy to a similar applicant. Whatever your standards are, they must be applied to all applicants.
Income Level
While it’s more work, establishing an income level for each property provides applicants with a well-stated, easily understood rental requirement. For instance, if you rent a 1 bedroom apartment for $700.00 a month, you can establish a minimum income requirement of $2,100.00. If the applicant’s income falls below the required level, they are declined. No exceptions.

Job History
A stable job history is a vital area for property managers to evaluate. It might be helpful to establish a minimum time on the job (i.e. six months) in order to be approved. Again, this may be a tough area to remain consistent on; those new to the area will obviously not have the required time on the job, but their overall job history may indicate stability. Again, if you make an exception for one applicant, be prepared to make an exception for all.

Rental History
Past evictions, consistently late rental payments, and trashed homes in an applicant’s rental history is a cause for concern, and a legitimate basis for denying an application. But remember, these standards must be applied across the board – to all applicants, not just a select group.
Race, disability, cultural background, or familial status should play no role in the decision making process. Knowing Fair Housing Laws, you’ll protect yourself and your company by establishing a consistent screening process and adhering to it. This will ensure that all of your tenants have been qualified in a fair and consistent manner.

Posted on 05. Apr, 2011 by Mary Girsch-Bock in Best Of, Law

When Screening Applicants Remember The Fair Credit Reporting Act

Property Managers know how important it is to prevent problems with residents through careful screening procedures. The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is as important in today’s society as ever. That’s why experienced property managers don’t cut corners when screening applicants.

Yet there are some legal issues that landlords and all business people face when screening, and it begins at the Federal Government level with the “Fair Credit Reporting Act” (FCRA).

The latest version of the FCRA is worth reading since it also involves procedures for doing a credit and background check on employees.

The Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) is yet another set of rules and regulations that property management companies should become familiar with. There are a number of ways to get the overview for the CFPA and this link is an adequate example.

The purpose of this article is to make you aware of these federal laws, not to explain them in detail. Any kind of background check is a very good idea only if the rules and regulations are followed. Because many of the credit reporting and consumer protection laws are complex you’re likely to need help.

There are a number of online resources that can be useful to make sure your background check doesn’t violate the laws—and those laws include state and local ones. Yet like all online resources, as the song goes, “you’d better shop around.” Another option is to use a property management software solution that includes screening.

The take-away from this article is that most people who own or manage rental properties need a reputable screening services company that’s easy to work with, thorough and fast. The ones worthy of your consideration should welcome your questions and have a phone number you can call to ask a live person to give you straight answers.

Posted on 10. May, 2013 by Marc Courtenay in Best Of, Law

Tequila & Taco Music Festival Santa Cruz

The title says it all…

San Lorenzo Park – Downtown Santa Cruz,CA
Saturday, August 22, 2015 & Sunday, August 23, 2015
11:00 am-5:30 pm

The Producers of The Legendary California Beer Festival are proud to brig back the 2nd Annual Tequila & Taco Music Festival in Downtown Santa Cruz at beautiful San Lorenzo Park for an even bigger and better experience!

Join us for TWO days of fun in the sun on Saturday, August 22nd and Sunday, August 23rd! Saturday will showcase top-shelf Tequilas sampling, while you indulge on gourmet tacos! Enjoy Live Music, Margaritas, Craft Beer and Art Vendors in a picturesque park setting.

Sunday Funday is Mas Margaritas! Bring the family and enjoy a sunny summer afternoon, sipping on an assortment of Margaritas, eating delicious tacos, all while enjoying a great music lineup! There is no Tequila Sampling on Sunday.

All ticket holders both days will have access to Food Vendors, Craft Beer and Margarita Booths, and Live Music.

Tequila Sampling: 11:00 am-3:00 pm SATURDAY ONLY
All other alcohol sales will end at 5:00 pm
Live Music until 5:30 pm.
NO Tequila Sampling on Sunday.

Summer Brewer’s Dinner at Peter B’s Brewpub

What are you doing Monday night? 8/3/15

Executive Chef Jason Giles & Brewmaster, Kevin Clark have designed a summer themed Brewer’s Dinner. Set in Peter B’s new private Barrel Room, guests will experience a five course dinner for $70++ per person. To reserve your seat, call (831) 649-7874, as seating is limited.


First Course
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon
Served with a Black Pepper and Santa Rosa Plum Jam

Britney is Back Sour Ale

Second Course
Heirloom Tomato and House Made Mozzarella Salad
Sweet Basil Pesto and California Olive Ranch E.V.O.O

Peter B’s Blonde Ale

Third Course
Pancetta Wrapped Prawn’s
Served over a Guajillo Chili Jam

Peter B’s India Pale Ale

Garlic and Thyme Cured Berkshire Pork Chop
Panzanella Salad with Rocket Arugula and Roasted Peppers
Finished with a Raspberry Demi Sauce

Imperial Red Aged in Whisky Barrel

Trio of Seasonal Fruit Sorbets
Vanilla Tuile and Hazelnut Crumble

Reef Points Hard Cider

Carmel Valley Fiesta

August 1st & 2nd. Don’t miss the Carmel Valley Fiesta

Join us for the 26th annual Carmel Valley Fiesta in beautiful Carmel Valley Community Park!

There will be a wide collection of local handmade artists, rides for the kiddies, delicious food vendors and free concerts all day long! The festival will be open from 10am – 6pm both days.

There is also the Fiesta Car Show, Run for the Sun on Saturday and the very popular and entertaining Doggie Show on Sunday. The Fiesta is culminated by the Grand Prize Raffle Drawing at 5 pm. The winner wins a trip to Hawaii with lodging and airfare for two or choose a cash prize of $1500.

The fiesta is hosted by the the Carmel Valley Kiwanis Foundation.

For more info:

Sunday Blues in the Park

One of my favorite Summer events. Enjoy live blues music at Seaside’s Laguna Grande Park every Sunday throughout the summer. Music begins at 1pm.

Recurring weekly on Sunday July 12, 2015 – August 9, 2015
Canyon Del Rey Blvd
Venue: Laguna Grande Park
Admission: Free

More Info

Carmel Bach Festival


The Carmel Bach Festival has a 75-year history of artistic excellence and community service. Musicians from the around the world will perform in venues including the Sunset Center, Carmel Mission Basilica, Church in the Forest, Pebble Beach, and All Saints Church.

More Info