PORTLAND-Bob Johnson, president of Marathon Management, which oversees a few thousand units spread between Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR, says screening procedures and tenant requirements implemented in the early 1990s — including centralized credit checking — are sufficient to guide him in the aftermath of September’s terrorist attacks on the East Coast.

The events of Sept. 11 — and the fact in their aftermath is has been learned that the alleged terrorists paid cash upfront for short-term living space in Delray Beach, FL– have caused Johnson and his staff to reflect on its procedures, but only “to make sure we do not deviate from our existing policy,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

The centralized credit checking, which does not waver with a building’s occupancy, helps keep race, color and creed out of the decision-making process, while no cash payment rules, criminal background checks and requirements for two years of employment and rental history help keep shady characters — drug dealers more so than terrorists — from getting into Marathon-managed units, Johnson tells GlobeSt.com.

“Without that rental and employment information, a tenant, in order to qualify to rent, must produce a co-signer that meets the conditions,” says Johnson. “And if they are rejected once, it goes into the computer, which prevents them from renting units at other Marathon-managed buildings.”

Johnson says Marathon doesn’t even let its leasing agents show a unit until they have a copy of their driver’s license on file. “Because of those procedures, if a shady character does seek one of our units, they usually never follow up with us,” says Johnson. “We manage a lot of assets, 30% of which I have ownership in, so we don’t want our people or our buildings put in harm’s way.”

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