Thorough screening is crucial to successful Property Management. HappyDoors requires all applicants to fill out a detailed application and submit it for processing/approval. A credit check is NOT enough! Our company conducts a careful review of their credit, income, criminal history (when available) and tenant history or ownership.
All applicants must submit verifiable information on their income to show they can support the property. Rental history or previous home ownership is carefully checked. Cross-referencing all three areas – credit, tenant history, and income - provides the answers to qualify or disqualify prospective applicants. If a pet is allowed on the property, the screening includes the pet (please review the upcoming pet policies).
HappyDoors normally does accept cosigners. There are sometimes conditions that may warrant taking a cosigner on a property. Examples include applicants who meet all qualifications but either do not earn enough money (students, retirees, etc.), may earn sufficient money but have some credit issues, or those who are being sponsored through a third party organization such as a business.
If an owner authorizes a pet, HappyDoors increases the security deposit even more. HappyDoors does not use the term “pet deposit” within the lease contract. By avoiding this terminology, HappyDoors can use the amount of the entire security deposit when there is animal/pet damage. Although the HappyDoors policy is to increase the security deposit, the amount cannot exceed the amount allowed by the State of Hawaii landlord/tenant law.
Many tenants have or want pets. It is legal for property owners to discriminate against pets. You may wish to do so. However, whether you have or have not decided to allow a pet in your property, the HappyDoors application has a place for prospective tenants to list pets and how many. It is important NOT to discourage full disclosure on pets while taking an application.
HappyDoors recommends to owners that when the property is on the market, that pets are “negotiable.” This can solve two problems.
- First, it makes the property more marketable. Many tenants have or want pets, but there are very few pet friendly rentals available. By considering pets, you increase the number of people who may be interested in renting your property.
- Second, by listing pets as negotiable, it avoids eliminating an excellent tenant that does care for their pet, has an excellent tenant history, and owns a pet that is suitable to your property.
Special note: service and comfort animals for handicapped/disabled persons are NOT pets by Federal law, and owners cannot discriminate against handicapped/disabled persons with a service animal. Fair Housing legislation does NOT allow owners or property managers to collect additional deposits of any kind or increase rent for service and comfort animals.
However, property managers and property owners can still process applicants who are handicapped or disabled on the same criteria as other applicants: income, credit, and tenant history. If they fail to qualify in these areas, the landlord/manager can still deny the application, handicapped or not. In addition, the applicant can be required to provide a written letter from a medical practitioner which must establish the need to have a service or comfort animal.