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Credit Check Needed for Denial?

My husband and I have recently found ourselves becoming landlords after a relocation sale gone wrong.  We're currently trying to rent our old house out and want to do this right.  We are entertaining applications from 2 families that are interested in the house.  The first family I've been in contact with for 11 days via e-mail and they've been going through the process, but it's been slow.  I got their applications in, one for each of them totaling 4 people, and none of the applications have much detail.  They reported zero financials on it, and none have listed jobs for the state they're moving to (2 are currently unemployed because of the upcoming move).  I am unsure if I should e-mail back and ask for employment specifics (ie a job is lined up for one or all, they just didn't put it in their applications) or they are planning on looking once they move.  I don't want to waste time and money on doing a credit/background check if I'm going to most likely choose the other applicants anyway because of already in place employment and quicker responses to phone/emails.    Also, they stated they couldn't electronically sign the application, which is an issue since we're doing this all long distance.  I'm pretty sure I can't do background or credit checks without a signed application.  I could ask them to mail me a paper copy, but seeing how long it's taken them to get me the e-mailed version, I don't want to slow this process down any more than necessary.   Especially if I have another application that is going much quicker and is already to the background/credit check (and they mailed theirs by snail mail).  So...can I deny them based on poorly filled out applications and seeming lack of employment in place once they move without running a credit check?

I would go with your gut on this! If they do not have a listed place of employment that is already not a good sign. If they are also taking a long time to respond that could reflect on how long they will take to pay the rent. My gut is saying Deny and try again. The screening process is key for finding the right match to fill your rental property, you most definitely do not want to already be experiencing uncertainty this early in the process. Good luck to you!
I find both applications to be highly suspicious based on lack of information and slowness of response.    Slowness of response could indicate lack od interest.  If it were me, I would not rent to either of them.  The one that is moving to a new state, have they viewed the property.  I never rent to anyone that wants to rent without seeing the property first.  Also, you need all the employment information up front.  I would not rent to anybody who does not have employment already lined up.  No job means no source to pay rent.  Verify with the new employer that they are employed there before spending money on credit reports and background checks.  You can deny based on lack of employment/income.  Bottom line - get a complete application upfront so you can verify everything and make a sound decision.
A follow up - you can deny the application without running a credit or background check for employment/income but if you do, you cannot charge an application fee unless you run the reports in most states.
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