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cerelia

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I am a new landlord! I would like to ask feedback on how to reject a tenant based on tax liens ($17K worth of various tax liens over several years, all of which showed up in the public records section of a background check). It is legally acceptable to say that I am declining them due to outstanding tax liens? Is there any special verbiage to use? I can't seem to find anything regarding denials for this reason. My rental is in Colorado.

Thanks so much for any insight!

Cerelia
AccidentalRental

Registered:
Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #2 
You need to give them an Adverse Action Notice.  Here is an article with a sample notice at the end.  Your background reporting service might also have a sample report you can use.

My understanding is that as long as you are not denying them for anything that could be considered discriminatory (including criminal history) then you can deny a prospective applicant. However, you need to be consistent in your screening criteria.  You can't deny this person for tax liens and later approve another who happens to also have tax liens.

By the way, CO legislature is debating introducing new requirements for Landlords when screening. It will limit application fees and require you to provide written screening criteria.  You may want to take the time now to write up your screening criteria with a professional so you are covered going forward.   

I'm not a lawyer, so if you are in doubt, check with a local professional. 

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cerelia

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for the link to the legislature, that is really important to know.

I do have a standard Tenant Rejection Letter with legalese verbiage, but was more wondering if the verbiage should be more generic or specific for the exact reason for rejection:

generic
"negative items on credit report"
specific
"outstanding public record on credit report"
more specific
"outstanding tax liens on public record"

After doing some research, I still don't understand how generic or specific I legally should be.
LLinVA

Registered:
Posts: 411
Reply with quote  #4 
My understanding is that if the reason is for something on the credit report, you have to specify that them and tell them which credit bureau you got the report from as well as the contact information for that credit bureau. This allows them the opportunity to correct mistakes with that credit bureau if there are any. For example, "Unfortunately, your credit score is 535 and we require at least a 670."

If the reason for refusal is not based on something on the credit report (such as on a background check, failure to meet income requirements, etc.) then you do not necessarily have to be specific. 

It may be best to rely on any other reason if you have any doubts. We have relatively strict screening requirements so that we have more leeway in turning down tenants. For example, our minimum income is 3x the rent and the minimum credit score is 750, but we usually have to make exceptions. This allows us to screen out people who show up in a crappy, cluttered, trashy car, dressed in sweatpants, and who smell of weed. If we had more lenient requirements, those people may meet them and we would have a harder time refusing people we don't want. 

Also, it can be safest to simply say you found a more qualified applicant. There really isn't anything they can argue against that (unless they see it still available).
cerelia

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you very much!
helloverify

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #6 
A tenant check company can provide better results on this. They deal in tenant verification services and provide the instant quality reports on tenant check. Go for them.
__________________
Hello Verify an online screening system that does a thorough employee background screening. Their team does a comprehensive research from verified sources. They check the credentials of the individual by cross referring to the police verification India documents. They then give you credible information based on which you can then make an informed decision.
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