I am noticing a trend happening with rental verifications lately. When trying to obtain a rental verification from another property management company, the property management company is refusing to provide the information because the tenant hasn’t given them a formal 30-day notice. Even if the tenant gave the authorization to obtain the information from their current landlord, their current landlord is still refusing to provide any information regarding their tenants’ rental history. Instead, written diagonally across the rental verification request form is: “No notice given – must be received to release info”.
I have seen this from a couple of the larger property management companies in the past. This time I decided to push the envelope a little and ask why? The answer I received only made me not understand their position that much more. I was told that their fiduciary responsibility is to their owner. They do not like surprises and the information must remain confidential. Only when the notice is received by their tenant, is it no longer confidential. This only confused me more. Maybe I am missing something here. As a Broker/Owner, I am all about fiduciary responsibilities to my owners, fair and honest responsibilities to my tenants and just plain liability to everything. And I just cannot figure out how giving a tenant’s information to another property management company, if the tenant authorized me to do so, is me breaking my fiduciary responsibilities to my owners. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that perhaps by having this type of policy in place, no rental verifications without formal notice, would do my owner even more harm.
Let’s be real, tenants want to make sure they secure a place before they give notice. They feel that if they give notice first, it could jeopardize their current lease status. This is fair. If I were renting, I know I would feel that way. So, imagine a situation where the tenant secures a new rental property and only gives you minimal notice, per whatever their lease agreement says they need to give? Is that in the best interest of your owner? I would rather know as many months in advance that my tenant could potentially be moving from a rental property that I manage. I can inform the owner that their tenant has been looking at other properties. This way, when the tenant moves, my owner isn’t freaking out because they only have 30 days left of income until they have a vacancy, listing fees, etc.
What if you are the property manager on the other side of this, like I am. I want to know if the people I am renting to are good tenants. Credit scores do not always give you a full picture of a person. With HUDS Fair Housing changes and Arizona Bills like SB 1437 trying to change the way we qualify tenants; property managers are already dealing with limitations. Shouldn’t we property managers stick together? Work together? Try to help each other weed out the bad apples?
The property management industry is a tough business. We are constantly struggling with regulations, law changes, angry people. I mean face it, typically when our phone rings, it is not someone telling how great we are!! We as property managers and property management companies need to stick together. We have no control over a tenant renewing their lease or giving notice. However, we do have control over the information we provide one another to keep the bad apple tenants from renting one of the homes that we manage.