Newton Wed 4/3: Tenant Screening: How and What to Look For

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04/03/2019 6:00 PM - 04/03/2019 9:00 PM
Charles River Properties
Address: 382 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458, USA

As we enter the spring rental market, it's time to remind ourselves of the importance of careful tenant selection to our bottom line. In this month's meeting we'll be covering tenant screening with three in-depth looks from three sets of speakers. The first two segments will be "how" and the third will be "what" to look for.

Part I: Tenant Screening Refresher

We'll start by reviewing the list of protected classes and equal housing opportunity laws. Yes, you can reject the rental application of someone who's a member of a protected class. But no, you can't do so because of their being in that protected class. We'll cover federal and state protected classes, steering, and testing. We'll make sure everyone leaves the room understanding their obligations to ensure equal housing opportunity for all.

We'll then cover the "big three" tenant screening checks that landlords can pay for. These are in addition to the detective work we can do on our own. We'll explain how credit scores work, one easy source of criminal data, and one free way to check eviction records.

This part of the presentation will be given by MassLandlords staff.

Part II: Criminal Records In-Depth

Criminal records have become both under-utilized and overly harsh in screening out rental applicants. We'll explain which kinds of data sources exist, what the data tells us or doesn't tell us about an applicant, and why we need to review criminal records on a case-by-case basis. Arrests and misdemeanors may not be housing relevant.

This part of the presentation will be a moderated discussion between staff and Jeremy Durrin, president of Background Examine.

Part III: Landlord Q&A on Screening

We'll be putting three regular audience members in front of the room to discuss what they look for once they have a credit, criminal, and eviction history. We'll also be asking them about checking income, references, cosigners, residence history, and many other factors.

Jeremy Durrin,
Landlord Q&A on Screening

Have you seen our Charles River volunteer website? Market data available on rent levels for Waltham and surrounding areas. We encourage you to also take the poll on your current views of the rental market. Use the "Contact Us" form to request a login at

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MassLandlords offers attendees of directly managed events a "No Sales Pitch" guarantee. If a guest speaker offers services, their presentation will not discuss pricing, promotions, or reasons why you should hire them. We do not permit speakers to pay for or sponsor events. Guest speakers are chosen for their expertise and willingness to present helpful educational content. Your purchase of an event ticket sustains our nonprofit model.

Wednesday, April 3rd

Charles River Meeting Agenda

  • 6:00pm Sign-in/Networking
    • Networking draws from Waltham, Newton, Weston, Watertown, Wellesley, Wellesley Hills, Lincoln, Dover, Arlington, Belmont, and the western ends of Cambridge and Boston.
  • 6:10pm Pizza and sodas provided
  • 6:40pm Executive Director Doug Quattrochi with the MassLandlords Business Update
    • Member Minutes - Any member can have the mic for 60 seconds (introduce yourself, ask a question, share words of wisdom, etc.)
  • 7:00pm Tenant Screening Refresher
  • 7:25pm Criminal Screening Discussion with Jeremy Durrin
  • 7:45pm Whole Room Discussion including Expert Landlord Q&A
  • 8:20pm Networking and small group discussion
  • 9:00pm Doors Close


Charles River Properties
382 Watertown St
Newton, MA 02458


Lots of street parking available at this hour.

Public parking lot behind Village Bank near corner of Adams and Watertown Streets (<0.1 miles).

Public parking lot at Bridge St and Linwood Ave (0.2 miles).


  • Pizza
  • Soda, Water
  • Please feel free to bring a dinner that meets your dietary goals/restrictions


Open to the public. Membership is not required! Seating is limited to 25. If tickets are active, seats are available. This location credit card and check only.

  • Public: $15.00
  • Members: $10.00

Click here to purchase tickets for this event

This event is operated by volunteers.

This is part of the Waltham rental real estate networking and training series.


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