When three applicants want to move in together make sure you get them on a separate document outlining your requirements for roommates. You’ll need to give them some instructions that only relate to roommates, some rules for paying rent, some limits for changing out roommates and more. You’ll disclose the right to go after the one with highest credit no matter who damaged the property and left owing money. Make it known up front how you’ll respond to requests to remove someone from the lease. Roommates love each other when they move in (and will sign just about anything) but, like other community efforts, they often fall out of love and make a mess of the landlord-tenant relationship.
Everyone knows managers Must Strive For Objectivity when approving/denying applicants but few have wrestled through the process of actually Putting It All Down In Writing … a document called Qualifying Guidelines.
For over our 35 years managing rentals in Atlanta we actually took the time to develop (and tweak for many years) the details of How To Treat All Applicants The Same to reduce the chances of a claim of discrimination. We make this document available to our students along with several of other tools for making these decisions Objectively and Safely.
Note: In 35 years, processing over 20,000 applications, Crown never had a Fair Housing claim. Clearly part of that is blind luck but the other part is consistently applying these written guidelines to all applicants, the same way, every time. Most of this happened before tenant screening companies were available so we learned how to do it in-house (codeword for By-The-Seat-Of-Our-Pants). These qualifying guidelines are the result of 25 years of perfecting the process.