• John Casmon

How to Screen Tenants During COVID with Taryn Byron



The urban core’s mass exodus is being exaggerated, according to Taryn Bryon. Nonetheless, developers and multifamily property owners need to adjust to changing demands from renters and shifts in demographics. Understandably, as many landlords and leasing agents are seeing more movement from renters, they are becoming more cautious in who they accept as replacement residents. Knowing how to screen tenants during COVID, in the middle of a federal eviction moratorium, can be a challenge. However, there are some key steps property owners and leasing agents can employ to make it easier according to Bryon.


Taryn Byron is the president and broker of CJ Dalton, a leading real estate firm that focuses on new developments and multi-family residential leasing in New York City and New Jersey. Byron is the lead real estate consultant for DMG Investments and with over seventeen years of hands-on experience in real estate sales and mentorship, she plays an integral part in the ongoing development of the firm.


In looking at rental applications, many renters use “IG filters” to mask their real financial situation. Leasing agents and landlords need to look past these filters to uncover the facts on a rental applicant. On the shift in demand, Taryn says that renters are seeking more outdoor space and separate workspaces. Current developments in the pipeline are too far along to pivot to shifting demands as the development timeline is around 3 years. Developments being planned now will be more likely to reflect these changing dynamics.


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Key Insights on Screening Tenants and Shifts in Multifamily Development

  • What is really going on in the New York real estate market as well as New Jersey and suburban markets

  • The changes in the real estate market and how real estate developers are changing their game plan

The product being developed in the more suburban areas [of New York] is more urban style as we are seeing more multifamily development with retail components to it
  • Specific factors that are shifting the dynamic of the New York real estate market

  • What people are looking for in their next home (#1 outdoor space, home office space)

  • Working with and finding the best real estate agents

Some [prospective tenants] are very good at putting Instagram filters on their applications, creating a false image of who they are.
  • The impact of the eviction moratorium on the New York market and multifamily investors

  • Tenant screening and what to look for in determining if a tenant will be able to pay rent consistently in different classed properties

  • The question that most landlords should ask, but don’t ask a prospective tenant

Whenever you accept a check from a tenant who is not on the lease, you open yourself up to a lot of issues as a landlord.
  • Why landlords need to define what a “guest” is in their lease

  • Value add strategies that landlords are using to turn over units and extract more value and continue to grow

  • Tenant retention strategies

  • Different incentive strategies to use to get tenants to sign a lease


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Bullseye Tips:


Apparent Failure:

I went after a listing early in my career and I bombed. I called the client to apologize, and because of my honesty, they ended up being a long term client.


Digital Resource:

Google Drive

Dropbox App


Most Recommended Book:

Stress Testing Your Retirement (Matt Gulbransen)


Daily Habit:

Wake up at 5:30 every morning


Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out:

Stay focused on your goals, and do not pay attention to other people and their opinions.


Contact Taryn:

tarynbyron@cjdaltongroup.com