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Best Practices for Screening Tenants – Explained by a Washington, DC Manager

jennytu - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Here in Washington, D.C., we can only take a few factors into consideration when screening applicants for rental properties. Today, we’re talking about tenant screening and what you need to know in order to remain legally compliant when you’re selecting and placing tenants.

Tenant Screening: Factors to Consider

You can use a rental application to screen for income, rental history, credit history, and criminal background. It’s important that you follow the proper legal guidelines to ensure you get best possible tenant without breaking any laws.

At EJF, we do a thorough background check. We look at an applicant’s income, and we also look at their debt ratio to ensure they can afford the property. We also do a background check, looking at public records, internet searches, previous employment, and landlord references.

Conditional Approval and Background Checks


As of October, 2017, Washington, D.C. requires that every applicant get a conditional approval before you can do a criminal background check. It’s important to get that approval first and to know what you are permitted to look for in an applicant’s criminal history.

We have a system to you get the best possible applicant for your property. Contact us at EJF Real Estate Services. We know how to find good tenants, and we can help with all of your Washington, D.C. property management needs.