J. Kent Erickson, Broker Associate
Direct / 208.447.7848

Tenant Screening

3d-magglassSelecting the best tenants for your property is the very first step needed to ensure your health and wellbeing, as well as that of your investment, and the tenants themselves. Taking the time to learn their rental history, job history, and criminal background before they sign a lease may protect everyone - and everything - involved in the process.

We provide a complete tenant screening application as a service to our investor clients. We'll provide you with a live link to our application that you can provide to your prospective tenants. (All fees are paid by the applicant.)

Every good investment property owner considers establishing a set of guidelines or criteria for selecting tenants to be compliant with the Fair Housing Act. It is important to establish the policies and expectations for tenants as well as identify criteria for screening results that could lead to denial of a tenant’s application.  Providing this information to potential tenants will ensure that they know the expectations and allows them the opportunity to opt out before paying the screening fee.

Sample: Tenant Screening Criteria

We offer this template to our investor clients so that they may use it as an example for establishing criteria that satisfy their needs and ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act. We strongly suggest that our investor clients seek legal guidance and review when creating their own standards as we are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.

J. Kent Erickson Real Estate - Property Management follows all federal, state, and local laws regarding the application process.  Each application is screened without regard to race, color, religion, handicap, sex, familial status, or national origin of applicant.  Applications must be completed in full by all residents that will be occupying the property that are 18 years of age or older.  The application fee is $40 and is non-refundable. Falsification of information provided on rental application will result in a denial.

J. Kent Erickson Real Estate - Property Management bases its decision to accept an applicant on a combination of credit, previous landlord information, employment, income, and criminal record.  For example, if you have excellent credit but you do not meet our income criteria, a co-signer will be required. We will look at other items such as employment and criminal record to assist us with making a decision.  If multiple negative items are found, your application will be denied.

The tenant screening report may include: a scored credit report, address history, criminal history search, sex offender registries search, eviction history, residence history verification, employment verification, and/or drivers license verification.

Please Note:

      • A background screening specialist from ACRANET may contact you for additional information during the screening process.  Please respond promptly so the background report can be completed as quickly as possible as not to delay the approval process.
      • Application verification may take 3-5 days
      • Additional applications will continue to be accepted until the approved applicant has signed the lease and paid the security deposit
      • As a representative of the property owner, we must act in their best interest and will choose the best application if more than one has applied
      • J. Kent Erickson Real Estate - Property Management chooses rent amounts based on current market conditions and instructions from the property owner

Required information to be submitted with application:

      1. Your application screening fee of $40 paid online when submitting screening application for each applicant over the age of 18.
      2. Picture I.D. (Driver’s License, Green Card, or Passport)
      3. Social Security Card
      4. Proof of Income: Current paystubs or an official letter from your employer on company letterhead should be attached to the application.  For self employed 1099 applicants, your last two years of tax returns are required)

The following will result in denial:

      1. Delinquent accounts on the credit report (more than 10% of accounts are delinquent)
      2. Credit report below 650 will be denied unless a Co-signer is approved
      3.  Collections and/or charge offs from the credit report (more than 10% of the total number of accounts are in collection or charged off)
      4.  Bankruptcy listed on the credit report filed in the last three years
      5. Any currently pending criminal charges
      6. Any felony convictions in the last 7 years
      7. Any misdemeanor convictions in the last two years (exception for solitary Minor in Possession-MIP)
      8. Any individual, who may constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of an individual, the complex, or the property of others, will be denied

Rental History

Application may be denied for excessive noise complaints, outstanding debts and payment problems, extensive damages, illegal activity on premises, or anything that would cause a landlord to not re-rent.


Gross monthly household income must equal at least 2.5x the stated monthly rent. If monthly income does not equal 2.5x the monthly rent, a co-signer will be required. A current paycheck stub or bank statement will be required.  Application will be denied if bankruptcy is listed on the credit report that was filed in the last three years.  Applications may be denied unless rent is no more than 30% of verifiable household income.  Unemployment, food stamps, student loans, alimony and child support is never considered income.

Criminal Background

A criminal record verification will be made on all applicants over the age of 18 who will occupy the property. Application will be denied for pending criminal charges or conviction of the following: any violent acts against another person, registered sex offender, vandalism, illegal drug or gang involvement of any kind, stalking, or criminal trespass.  Any felony convictions older than 7 years may be considered.


Security Deposit

The security deposit amount varies for each property and property owner.  It must be paid within 24 hours of acceptance by money order, cashier’s check, or certified check.  Once you are approved for the property and the deposit has been paid, you must sign the lease within 48 hours and begin paying rent for the property no later than 14 days from the day you are accepted.  Should you decide that you do not want to continue with the lease agreement after you were accepted then your security deposit would be non-refundable.

Pet Policy

If property owner agrees to allow a pet, applicant will pay a non-refundable pet fee of $250 along with an additional $15 pet fee per month added to rent. Service or companion animals will always be accepted provided documentation is submitted. Pet deposit will not be charged for service animals.

Rental Length

All properties are generally rented for 1 year unless otherwise approved by the property owner.  After 1 year the lease will automatically renew for another year unless otherwise specified in the lease agreement, or you notify property management that you will not be renewing.

Disabled Accessibility

Standard allows existing premises to be modified at the full expense of the disabled person. If the disabled person agrees to restore the premises to the pre-modified condition.

Standard requires:

    • Written approval from the landlord before modifications are made
    • Written assurances that the work will be performed in a professional manner
    • Written proposals detailing the extent of the work to be done
    • Documents identifying the names and qualifications of the licensed contractors to be used
    • All appropriate building permits and required licenses made available for landlord inspection
    • A deposit for the restoration may be required

Conditional Approval

Any Application that does not result in a denial will result in a conditional approval or straight approval.  Conditional approval may include one of the following:


    1. Approval with first and last months rent required
    2. Approval with an increased deposit
    3. Approval with a qualified roommate
    4. Approval with a co-signer

In the event of a denial or other adverse action you have the right to obtain a free copy of the consumer report and to dispute the accuracy of the information appearing in the consumer report.

Denial Process:

If your application has been denied and you feel that you qualify as a resident under the criteria described above, you may choose to do the following:

    • Contact the company that supplied the information to discuss your application


521 W Maxwell Ave
Spokane, WA 99201-2417

    • Correct any incorrect information through the credit-reporting agency as per their policy
    • Request the credit-reporting agency to submit a corrected credit check to the appropriate screening company

Please Note:

    • Upon receipt of the corrected and satisfactory information, your application will be re-evaluated for the next available property
    • Managers/agents do not have the authority to override the recommendations of the screening company or make any changes to the rental criteria

We/I understand the following:

    • Application fee must be paid with application and is non-refundable
    • If providing a deposit to hold a unit and application is not accepted then the deposit will be returned
    • If application is accepted and you choose not to move in, then deposit is not refundable
    • Once application is accepted and any portion of the deposit is paid, the deposit is non-refundable if deciding not to sign the rental agreement.
    • J. Kent Erickson Real Estate - Property Management will only “hold” the property for up to 14 days once a deposit has been submitted
    • Rent will be due and payable no later than 14 days after approval for property or deposit has been paid

We/I hereby authorize my creditors, employers, and landlords and credit repositories to release whether by phone, fax or in writing, any information which may include current and previous credit history, past or present employment information, past or present rental history, past or present criminal history, or any other background information requested.

Furthermore, I understand that using a photocopy of this form may be necessary to complete verification of information and will be fully accepted as if it were an original.

This application shall not be binding to the owner or agent until accepted in writing.  The delivery of a lease to the undersigned for signature shall be constructed as an acceptance of the application, nor shall lease be upon the owner until it has been executed on the owner’s behalf and delivered to the undersigned.


Sample: Online Tenant Screening Application

  • Property Selection
  • Tenant Information
  • Current Employment
  • Pets & Vehicles
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Agreement
  • Agreement
  • Agreement
  • Payment Information

Investor Services: Tenant Screening Report

Full Consumer Report

  • Name History
  • Credit Report
  • Credit Score
  • Employment Verification
  • Address History
  • Eviction Search
  • Landlord References
  • Multi-State Criminal Search
  • National Sex Offender Search

*Please note that cost is per application.


Co-Signer Report

  • Standard Credit Report
  • Credit Score

*Please note that cost is per application.

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