How Property Managers Decide Who's In And Who's Out

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Have you ever wondered who your neighbors really are?

For college student John Christopher, getting to know his neighbors is important.

However, it's hard for the 23 year-old to find the time to meet everyone.

"I know them, I know the one that lives next door to me on the other end, and I know one or two in the other buildings," Christopher said.

That's why he relies on the property manager to ensure his neighbors don't move-in on his belongings.

That's where heavy background checks come into play.

It's the Property and Leasing agents job at Classic Realty to know the people they rent to.

"When a tenant comes in he fills out a rental application, we do a criminal history check, a background check from previous landlords, we do employment verifications, and we do something called a tenant tracker," Classic Realty Property Management Director Mary Derkowski said.

The agents fax a person's rental application to tenant tracker.
In just a matter of minutes, they can find out not only where that person has been, but also if they have a criminal history.

"Any violent act, theft, anything like that would not be inclusive to having a good tenant for the owner or surrounding neighbors," Derkowski said.

While things like assault are automatic deal breakers for most property management companies, the final decision as to who can live in any given apartment, is up to the owner.

However, when most people sign on the dotted line--they are agreeing to be a good neighbor, and any criminal act could get them evicted.

Something John Christopher says makes him feel safer in his bachelor pad.

"I really and truly don't want to live next door to somebody who could bust into my house, take all my stuff, my computer, my TV, my bicycle, my anything," Christopher said. "I want to live in a safe environment."

The Bryan-College Station Apartment Association says it's standard for most property managers and owners to require background checks. But again, the final say on whether a tenant can rent a place is ultimately up to the owner.