Should I requalify a tenant before offering a lease renewal?

To protect your business you may decide that,, even though the tenant originally qualified, you need to evaluate the tenant’s potential future financial risk. A tenant who qualified under your rental standards a year ago may have had a change in circumstances that may not meet your current qualification criteria. Be sure you understand current applicable laws regarding the use of consumer reports by landlords for tenant screenings before conducting any screening for qualification. Current and pending legislation at the state and local level may regulate or prohibit the use of consumer reports for tenant screenings.

However, many landlords considering a lease renewal for a good tenant will usually review the tenant’s file, look to the tenant’s rent payment history and how the tenant has conducted himself during the lease term as the primary factors for a renewal offer.  If the tenant has fulfilled his lease obligations, i.e. taken good care of the property, does not cause disturbances, followed rental rules, etc., most landlords would prefer to retain a good tenant rather than incur the often significant costs associated with tenant turnover.

The decision for lease renewal is the landlord’s decision. If you have concerns about the tenant’s future ability to meet lease terms and conditions, you would obviously allow the tenancy to end at the lease expiration date. Alternatively, you could renew the lease on a month-to-month basis.

When you and your tenant agree on renewal lease terms and conditions, you should have the tenant update his personal information such as current phone numbers, email addresses, emergency contact information, and current employer for your records.

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