Do you need to provide a reason for declining a rental application?
Our agency just did a reference check on applicants with their current landlord for purposes of placing them with a new landlord.
The previous landlord informed us they were excellent tenants, however, the son, who lives with his parents, was recently arrested for breaking and entering into flats and garages in the building.
What is our legal position in refusing this application made by the parents based on the information regarding their son who will be living with them?
It should be borne in mind that you and/or the landlord have absolutely no obligation to approve an application that is submitted by a prospective tenant.
The purpose of the application process, particularly following up on a prospective tenant’s references, is to ensure that the landlord is able to make an informed decision as to who he or she will ultimately contract with.
The decision to contract and conclude a lease agreement ultimately rests with the landlord. Therefore, and in the event of the landlord not being satisfied with any of a prospective tenant’s references or credentials, then it is his/her prerogative to reject the application.
In the circumstances, and if it is the case that the collateral information received from the applicants’ previous landlord is of grave concern to the landlord, then you may simply advise the applicant that the landlord has elected to contract with another applicant.
You are not required to advise them of the fact that the landlord’s decision is based on the collateral information received about their son and his behaviour.
Who is Marlon Shevelew?
Marlon Shevelew is the director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates Inc. a law firm specialising in rental property, contractual, consumer and company law.