Why Landlords Reject Tenants

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Federal and state anti-discrimination laws limit what landlords can say and do in the tenant selection process. Essentially, landlords are free to choose among perspective tenants as long as all the tenants are evaluated more or less equally. For example, a landlord can refuse to rent to a smoker or a college student as long as this no smoking or no student policy applies to all tenants.

Some Permissible Reasons for Rejecting Tenants:
  • Poor credit, as you may be unable to pay rent
  • Insufficient income to pay the rent
  • Negative references
  • Previous eviction lawsuits
  • Conviction of criminal offense
  • Current illegal behavior, such as drug use
  • Inability to meet terms of lease
  • More people than landlord wants in unit
  • Untruthful responses on rental application
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