Screening & Selecting Tenants
How can I detect prior nuisance behavior (history of loud music/parties, conflicts with neighbors, etc.) or more violent acts when screening applicants?
- Get positive behavior references from the second and third prior landlords for all potential unit occupants over age 18. Check out this Tenant Screening Checklist, which has several questions you may ask prospective tenants and their prior landlords.
Improving Overall Apartment Safety
What works best to reduce crime and disorder at apartment complexes?
Strict tenant screening is the best thing you can do to prevent problems at apartments. A number of other best practices are detailed in the documents below:
- General recommendations overview for apartment managers and landlords.
- Detailed best practices guide for reducing crime and disorder at apartments (practical guide developed specifically for landlords and customized for use in California).
- Crime-Free Lease Addendum. A Crime-Free Lease Addendum may be added to any new or existing rental agreement. Be sure to review it line-by-line with your tenants before they sign it to stress your zero tolerance for crime and disorder by tenants and their guests on your property.
- Dealing with unauthorized visitors/occupants. Chris McGoey, President of Security Consulting, developed these tips on recognizing and responding to non-tenants causing problems or living in a unit without the manager's permission.
- Responding to domestic violence. Click here for recommendations on reducing domestic violence in apartment complexes and to learn more about pertinent California laws.
Tenants’ and landlords’ rights and responsibilities under California law
Click here to find the answers developed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
Contact the Lawyers Referral and Information Service (LRIS), a non-profit arm of the San Diego County Bar Association. LRIS matches up people seeking legal advice with attorneys who have been screened by the bar association. The initial 30-minute telephone consultation is free. Fees apply for additional legal services.