Tenant Screening Criteria

In order to apply for tenancy you must have toured the property. Applications are not accepted unless all applicants have viewed the property. For applicants from out of the area, use of skype, facetime or another interactive “realtime” method of taking a virtual tour of the property is acceptable. 

Please be prepared to pay the $40 tenant screening fee per application. In addition to the rental application, you will also be required to provide a copy of a valid form of government issued picture identification and proof of income.

Below are the tenant screening criteria that will be used to qualify a tenant for tenancy. Applicant also must be able to meet any property policies i.e. pets, no smoking, renters insurance as outlined by leasing agent to qualify for tenancy. The following information will be reviewed to determine tenancy: all information provided on application, rental history via any identifiable prior landlords, credit reports via a third party Consumer Reporting Agency, public records regarding criminal convictions history or registration as a sex offender or terrorist, personal references, verification of income, civil court records.

Each resident over the age of 18 must submit a separate complete rental application. Groups of more than one applicant will not be considered until the applications from all members of the group are received. Application will not be reviewed until all applications are received in full. All members of the group must meet the tenant screening criteria.

Smart Choice Realty does not accept a comprehensive reusable tenant screening report.

We screen applicants on a first come first serve basis. However, we reserve the right to disqualify an applicant that can not immediately take possession of the property when it is available and ready. We do not hold a vacant unit for tenant move in.

Please read the "Terms of the Application Agreement". A deposit is required as part of the tenant screening process for Owner/Agent to hold the property, remove it from the market, cancel advertising and cease showings to other prospective tenants. This fee must be paid within 24 hours of acceptance and will be applied to the security deposit. 

Tenancy Approved - when applicant meets or exceed thresholds in all areas.

1. Total combined monthly gross income of all rental applicants in a given rental unit must be at least 2.25 times the monthly rental rate. Except in cases of rental housing subsidies falling within SMC 14.08.040(f), income that does not meet this threshold results in denial of the application.
2. Only income that can be verified counts. Valid source must be provided to verify income. (Please attach confirmation of source of income to the application. If you are providing check stubs please provide the past 3 pay periods.)
3. Applicants must have the same source of income for a minimum of six (6) months or be able to provide recruitment letter if new to the area. .

1. Applicant is able to demonstrate fiscal responsibility.
2. Applicant has no delinquent payments or past pattern of delinquency.
3. Applicants debt/income ratio is no more than 50%.
4. Credit score should be 620 or above.

Public Records
1. Public record history free of criminal convictions harmful to persons or to property. Decision will be decided upon on a case-by-case basis, when conviction occurred and what the applicant has done for restitution since the conviction.
2, No prior unlawful detainers or evictions appear on applicant’s record.

1. Favorable references must be received from minimum of the last two landlords. Pattern of meeting their rental obligations, leaving prior rental properties in good condition and not having a pattern of complaints from neighbors. If a former landlord does not respond to requests for information within 48 hours of being contacted, that may result in denial of application.
2. For applicants without prior rental history, adequate personal references for equivalent to two favorable past landlord references.

1. Applicant was respectful of leasing agent, property and neighbors including showing up on time for tour. Failure to do so will result in denial of the application.
2. Each applicant was met and identification verified (Please attach to application).
3. Applicant is able to pay screening fee for each application and all monies required for tenancy.
4. Able to move in as soon as property is available.
5. Pay deposit to hold the property, remove it from the market, cancel advertising and cease showings to other prospective tenants. This fee will be applied to security deposit. Once application has been submitted the applicant will be sent a link for payment. Terms regarding the payment are listed in the "Terms of Application Agreement."

The following is agreed to when an application is submitted. 

1. Application Fee (nonrefundable). You have paid a tenant screening fee in the amount indicated and this payment defrays the cost of the consumer report and any administrative work done to process this application. Once this fee is paid it is nonrefundable. However, if we do not run a consumer report on an applicant then we will refund your fee.

2. By submitting an application applicant is hereby conditionally accepted as a tenant and will be required to submit a deposit for owner/agent to hold the property, remove it from the market, cancel advertising and cease showings to other prospective tenants. This deposit will be applied to the security deposit once tenancy begins.

This conditional acceptance is based on information provided by applicant on the application. Any information subsequently revealed which differs from that provided on the application or if tenant does not meet tenant screening criteria listed will cause owner/agent to disqualify applicant and rescind the offer of a lease, refunding all of the deposit. Said rejections shall be at the owner's sole discretion. Please ensure to review all of the tenant screening criteria before submitting an application.

Also, if the applicant fails to sign the lease within 24 hours of submitting an application or otherwise by words or deeds indicates that he/she does not intend to occupy the premises, the full sum deposited shall be forfeited as liquidated damages. In that case, all applicant's rights under this agreement shall cease and be terminated.

3. An incomplete application causes delay in processing and may result in denial of tenancy. An Application will not be considered "completed" and will not be processed until all of the following have been provided: a separate Application has been fully filled out and signed by you and each co-applicant; an application fee has been paid; a deposit has been paid and the Lease has been signed, leasing agent has met in person all applicants over the age of 18 years of age and valid proof of identification was verified.

Any false, fraudulent or misleading information provided on the application may be grounds for denial of tenancy and/or forfeiture of rental or lease agreement.

4. You must not assume approval until you receive actual notice of approval. All applicants must be approved for tenancy by being able to meet all tenant screening criteria and able to move into property when it is ready. We will notify you whether you've been approved within 3 days after the date we receive a completed Application. Your Application will be considered "disapproved" if we fail to notify you of your approval within 3 days after we have received a completed Application. Notification may be in person or by email, mail or telephone.

5. In compliance with the Fair Credit Act and RCW 59.18.257 (2), this is to inform you that a credit investigation involving the statements made on this application for tenancy will be initiated.

The consumer reporting agency providing us your background investigation including a credit report, criminal and civil background information is AppFolio Inc. 50 Castilian Dr. Santa Barbara, CA 93117, Phone 866-359-3630.

If you are declined due to the consumer report, you may obtain a free copy of your credit report from the above company if obtained within 60 days of denial. You also have the right to dispute the accuracy of the report and/or add a consumer statement to the report.

5. Guarantors can be used only for applicant’s lack of or insufficient income, not to overcome credit or civil issues. Guarantors must fill out an application and for the first year of tenancy be on the lease. After the first year of tenancy, if the tenant has fulfilled their lease obligations, without incident then guarantors can request to be removed from the lease. Guarantors must be able to prove they have sufficient income to pay rent above and beyond their financial obligations.

6. Our reception of this application is consent only to this Application Agreement. It does not bind us to accept applicant or to sign a Lease/Rental Agreement.

7. You agree that to the best of your knowledge all statements are true.

8. You authorize the owner/agent for initial tenancy and again upon any future lease modifications or renewals to verify the information provided on the application including, but not limited to, obtaining credit reports, character reports, civil and/or criminal records, verifying source of income and rental history.

9. You have read the tenant screening criteria and understand what types of information will be accessed to conduct the tenant screening and what criteria may result in denial of the application, as required by RCW 59.18.257.

10. If for any reason whatsoever Landlord does not deliver possession of the premises on the commencement of Lease, rent shall be prorated until such time as Landlord tenders possession. In no event shall Landlord be liable to Applicant/Tenant for damages caused by failure to deliver possession of the premises. If possession of the premises is not tendered within 10 days of the lease start date, Applicant/Tenant may terminate this Agreement by giving written notice to Landlord and any monies paid by Applicant/Tenant to Landlord shall be refunded.

11. We do not collect applications via mail, fax or in person, except when required to accommodate an applicant with a disability.