How To Screen Tenants The Right Way


Recommendations from previous landlords, previous employers, and personal references are all important when renting an apartment.

Verifying that they have supplied correct information on their application, that their prior rental has been left in excellent shape, and that they are presently employed are all made easier with this piece of information. You may also want to inquire for pay stubs in addition to speaking to an employer over the phone.

Checks on Potential Tenants

It’s possible that the easiest approach to verify that tenants are who they claim to be is to do background checks on them. A background check can establish that a prospective tenant will pay their rent on time and has not had any issues with previous landlords, especially if the background check is equipped with past rental information……….

When you first meet someone, they may appear like a pleasant person, but their past behaviour suggests that they would not be excellent renters. A excellent method to prevent problems is to have an expert look into them for you.

The criminal and rental records of an applicant are screened as part of a background check. You have no idea whether a prospective tenant is telling the truth about his or her past until you do a thorough background check.
Applicants who have previously been evicted due to nonpayment of rent, for example, should be wary about applying.

Renters Should Be Pre-Screened

Learn how to do a background check on potential renters before they submit an application. Assuming you don’t have pets of your own, inquire as to whether or not the other party has any. In the application process, specify that you do a criminal background check if you do not accept renters with felony records. Be upfront about the screening procedure you use, since some prospective renters may walk away before they’ve ever applied.

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When screening renters, it’s a good idea to check out their social media sites. Seeing the candidate’s uncivilised conduct on Facebook or Instagram should immediately raise a red signal for the candidate. It’s possible that LinkedIn can validate a few of the details in their work history.

Other Methods of Protecting Your Home

As soon as the renter moves in, you may take precautions to ensure that your home or apartment is safe. To demonstrate your renters that you’re taking their concerns seriously, you need to keep an eye out for damage and react immediately to difficulties. When anything goes wrong, make a note of it and get it corrected as soon as possible. Your renters are more inclined to care for your property if you do.

Before your renter moves in, it’s a good idea to complete a tour with them. This is a win-win situation. It demonstrates that you are concerned about the condition of your property and shields the renter from being held liable for any earlier damage.

Tenants may be screened by doing a credit check.

Using a credit report, you may see whether a potential renter is responsible with their finances. Using this method, you may determine how much debt an application owes in relation to their income. TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax are the main three credit reporting bureaus, however a FICO score or other equivalent metric may also be used. Data from all three agencies will be used to create the greatest credit report possible.

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act applies to anybody attempting to get credit and background information on someone else (FCRA). Landlords and other businesses that get credit information must be “accredited” by credit reporting agencies (CRAs). One option is to do an on-site check of the inquirer’s office to confirm the company, records, and inquirer’s proper use of credit data are all in order.

Develop A Program

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A standard application form for all potential renters may aid in the evaluation process and help you stay in line with fair housing legislation. This is the place where you gather data about your current and previous landlords, job history, references, and previous evictions, for example. Keep a copy of your documents in case of a future disagreement, and provide a space for a signature.

A Decision Has To Be Made

Check your original criteria to see whether a potential renter is a good fit. When it comes down to it, it’s up to you to know your property the best. If you’re an independent landlord, don’t feel pressured to hasten the procedure. Because of SmartMove’s simplified screening procedure, you may screen more prospective renters and still locate the appropriate one.

An online tenant screening service that provides accurate information is essential. SmartMove provides you with a tenant credit report, criminal record check, eviction check, Income Insights report, and ResidentScore so that you may be more confident in your tenant decision-making processes.

Investigate Your Past Addresses, Landlords, and Evictions

Check out one or more prior addresses to be sure. To be safe, you should look into the applicant’s previous landlords if they were tenants. You’ll want to know how much rent they paid, whether they paid it on time, and if the landlord or neighbours had any issues with the application while they were living in the property. Even if your current landlord says you’re a good renter, it’s vital to double-check with multiple former landlords to be sure.

Among the things to inquire about prior landlords are:

  • Is the potential renter able to pay their rent on time?
  • Did they leave the property in excellent condition, with no more than the average amount of wear and tear?
  • Were there any noise or pet complaints from the neighbours?
  • Renting from them again is something you’d consider doing.
  • Besides verifying with prior landlords, you can also examine local housing court records to determine if the prospect has any evictions and even search for judgements for damages in their court history.

Cost of a Tenant Screening Agency

Tenant screening services typically cost between $19 and $25 per application. With other providers, you might receive a bulk pricing reduction that practically halved the price.

A credit check, an address check, a work history check, and a Social Security number check are all standard procedures. An itemised upcharge or inclusion in the following, more expensive plan tier is the norm when it comes to criminal and sexual offender background checks.

On the upper end, the premium plans cost $40 each candidate screen. This is the third price strategy that many screening firms use.

To get a quote, a landlord or real estate agent talks to a customer service representative about the criteria they want to screen and how many renters they want to screen every month.

What Is the Purpose of a Tenant Background Check?

A landlord may get a sense of how a prospective renter would behave based on their previous behaviour. If an application has a history of late rent payments, a landlord may look into that, as well as if the applicant has been evicted in the past, and if so, why.

A potential tenant’s income might be verified by the landlord to ensure that the rent is affordable. There are various records that landlords may look at to determine if an applicant makes enough money to pay off all of his or her debts and other obligations, such as school loans.

The First Thing to Consider

First Advantage has become a byword for a wide range of services and resources when it comes to tenant background checks.

First Advantage was founded about two decades ago and has since grown to 26 sites in 14 countries across the globe. There are an estimated 75 million background checks conducted each year by the firm because of its scale.

Advantages of using first-edge

There are several advantages of First Advantage, including but not limited to:

  • White papers and data sheets documenting current landlord-tenant relationships are available.
  • Third-party providers provide additional services.
  • A database of criminal records that is often updated.
  • There must be a human component in order to avoid mistakes or misunderstanding.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act-compliant

How We Selected the Best Tenant Screening Companies

Before recommending our top seven tenant screening businesses, we conducted a thorough analysis of 18 companies.

FCRA compliance and staff training, firm history and reputation, accreditations, pricing plans, what the plans contained, and if there were hidden costs were some of the primary considerations in our review. We weighed the speed of screening against the extent to which the firm relies simply on database algorithms or if human research verification is complemented by technology.

The FCRA laws apply to all of the companies we suggest. FCRA-compliant screening companies keep up with changes in the law and provide landlords with a properly prepared refusal letter to deliver to an applicant, as required by law.

In our assessment, companies that embraced technology for speed and efficiency while verifying their findings with human research efforts also performed the best. ” Closed loan accounts that still display a debt outstanding are common in credit databases. Bankruptcies that are more than seven years old may no longer be included on a person’s credit report. Many criminal and other legal judgements, particularly in county court records, are not included in national crime databases. Our selection was not entirely comprised of database-driven enterprises.

National Tenant’s Network

Landlords may rely on National Tenant Network for all of their tenant screening needs.

It has been used for decades by real estate brokers and property owners for credit and background checks. There is a wealth of information available on the company’s enormous report library about the work they have done for prior landlords and the services they can give to new landlords.

The Advantages of Using a National Tenant Search Service

In addition to the many advantages of utilising the National Tenant Network, here are a few:

  • Over four decades of expertise conducting background checks on prospective tenants
  • Landlords may use this data to make better judgments about evictions and lease violations.
  • In-depth credit reports for maximum understanding
  • Searches for criminal history on an individual at the local, state, and federal levels
  • Tenant screening may now be done “on the fly” thanks to secure servers.

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