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Find a Property Management Company That Works Well with LandlordsAs you grow your business and become the landlord of multiple properties, you may feel it’s time to start seriously looking into a property management company that can help you maintain and find tenants for your properties. When you work with competent professionals who have experience maintaining various types of properties, you’ll find that your workload is lessened and your profits maximized. However, if you end up with a dud or someone who lacks experience, it can cause far more headaches than it’s worth.

Find the Right One for You

This is why you should do proper research and follow a few choice steps to ensure you’re working with a property management company that will do right by you. We have a few general tips for you:

  • Ask people you trust for referrals. Always a good bet!
  • Consider local companies familiar with your area.
  • Do your due diligence and read up on the company’s reputation.
  • Conduct interviews to see who you click with and get professional vibes from.

Stick with these tips and you’ll be well on your way to finding a qualified manager you can trust. Referrals are likely your top source for reputable management companies, especially if the people you ask are also landlords with experience working with multiple properties. You should keep their recommendations at the forefront of your mind, but don’t be afraid to ask additional questions. You may want to consider what types of properties they own and whether you have comparable properties.

Your next step is to cross-check your referrals with local companies who work with buildings in the area. These companies will know your local market best and likely have contacts already when it comes to knowing the best way to fill your properties with reliable tenants. They’ll know how to market, who to market to, and how to ensure your units stay filled if at all possible. Property management professionals will also know your local competition and account for them so you see the benefits.

Do the Research

Before signing with a company and trusting them with your property management, you’ll want to do some additional research on your own. You can often rely on personal referrals, but even so, it’s a good idea to do some extra work on your own to check online reviews or professional site details to get a more well-rounded picture of who you’ll be working with. Speak directly with the people who will be managing your property along with their superiors so you can get a personal feel for their personality, work style, and more. They should be friendly and professional, as well as give you the sense that you’ll be in good hands.

When you do find property managers you can trust, you can support them with a tenant screening service that will help match your units with the best possible tenants. We recommend our RentalConnect program as an added tool for selection the right tenants for your property. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient, especially for those with less experience in property management. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Tenant Screening.

You just met with a really nice prospective tenant. They see like they have their act together, they were friendly, and they answered every question well. You’re feeling pretty good about them. Should you trust your gut and extend them a rental agreement? Well, while trusting your gut can be a good thing in many situations, when it comes to your business and livelihood, it’s best to be absolutely sure. Using a tenant verification service will give you all the answers you need and help prevent fraud.

As a landlord, your properties and ability to fill those properties with qualified, paying tenants is essential for your success. Anyone who’s been in the rental business long enough knows this is easier said than done, however. Even if everything looks good on paper and in person, there may be something hidden in an applicant’s past that will give you pause. At the very least, it’s worth looking into and seriously considering.

More Comprehensive Than Credit Reports

Tenant verification screening can take many forms, but most landlords and property managers rely on credit reports first and foremost in their decision making. While a credit report can give you a lot of information – credit score, current debt, payment habits, declaration of bankruptcy, and more – there are some things it can’t tell you. A more comprehensive tenant screening can include a background check, criminal history, eviction history, and even out-of-state information for someone who’s moved in from outside the state. All of this information can combine to paint a different picture than the person you met.

Important things to keep an eye out for in your application and tenant verification reports:

  • Employment verification
  • False pay stubs
  • Previous residences and relationships with landlords
  • Criminal background
  • Eviction history
  • A slight variation in the name that doesn’t match the social security number given
  • Anything else that doesn’t quite match what’s on the application

Any or all of these things could be warning signs and are worth a deeper look. It’s vital to protect your business and property from fraud and income loss, and doing your due diligence is always well worth it. Best of all, screening services like those from TSCI are paid by the tenant as part of their application fee, making the screening virtually cost-free for you.

We recommend our RentalConnect program as an added tool for selection the right tenants for your property. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient, especially for those with less experience in property management. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Landlords, Property Management.

Landlord Responsibility for Tenant Utility BillsIt’s not uncommon for landlords to have to deal with nonpaying tenants at one point or another, but another thing that some may not consider is having a tenant who pays rent but skips out on utility payments, either for their final month in the property or for even longer. When utility bills have been going unpaid, who’s responsible? Do you have to cover for tenants who bailed, or do you have some recourse?

First things first: always go back to the rental agreement.

If you have a comprehensive rental or lease agreement, then you should have a section that details who’s responsible for which utilities. In some instances, the tenant is responsible for all utilities, while in others the utilities may be split between the landlord and the tenant. For example, in an apartment complex, the property owner or landlord may cover trash pickup and water, while the tenant is responsible for gas, electricity, and other bills. This varies by type of property, as well as local laws. Always confer with your legal counsel about what you have to cover, legally.

Once you know what you’re responsible for and what the tenant should cover, you can move forward. Even if you’re pretty sure you know, check your agreement anyway just to be sure. This should indicate to you whether utilities are registered under your name or the tenant’s name. If the unpaid utilities are under the tenant’s name, then you should not legally be responsible for repaying their late payments or fees. However, if the utilities remain under your name for any reason, you’re likely on the hook to pay. If this were the case, you probably would have noticed missed payments before the tenant’s move-out date, but it’s possible something was overlooked.

What do you do if a tenant leaves you holding a very expensive bag of missed utility bills that you’re now responsible for? You may want to strongly consider taking them to small claims court to get back some of your lost revenue. It’s up to you to weigh your options and decide if the amount lost is worth the additional hassle and time commitment. On the other hand, if the tenant skipped out on bills that are still under their name, then the utility company will have to take legal action themselves to get their money – they can’t force you to pay if you’re not legally obligated.

It’s always possible to end up with a less-than-stellar tenant, but if you use a screening service during the application process, it can significantly reduce your risk of dealing with a nonpaying tenant. We recommend our RentalConnect program as an added tool for selection the right tenants for your property. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient, especially for those with less experience in property management. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Tenant Screening.

How Tenant Verification Protects Your Business

Why is tenant verification so important?

Because it helps you determine not only the best tenant for your given property but also gives you the information you need to make a good business choice as a landlord. Any tenant can walk into a showing and put their best foot forward, making you feel at ease, but it’s really only through a thorough screening that you can be sure of exactly what you’re getting. Many tenants know how to play the game to make themselves appear more desirable than they actually are, and some may even lie about income or employment in the hope that you’ll rent to them without verification. Don’t fall into that trap!

Whether you decide to screen your own tenants or use a property management company, you should make sure that you’re really looking behind the curtain to see what’s going on with each applicant. Tenant verification screening is going to benefit you either way, and better yet, with the right program it’s available at minimal or no cost to you because the application and screening fee is paid by the tenant. As always, it’s important to check your local laws to see which screenings you can use and determine that maximum you can charge for an application fee.

Here’s what a screening can tell you

  • Determine that the information on an application is accurate. Everything from previous addresses to employment history can be cross-checked via a screening.
  • Check credit history. Getting a credit score for a potential tenant is only one piece of the puzzle. You can also get a bird’s eye view of how a potential tenant has dealt with financial highs and lows in the past so you have a better idea of how they’ll do so while living in your property.
  • A background check can prevent messy incidents. If you live in an area where you’re allowed to run background checks on rental applicants, this tenant verification will help you see whether someone has a history of violent crime, drug convictions, domestic disturbance, or anything else that would cause you and your other neighboring tenants grief.
  • Eviction history. Knowing whether a tenant has been previously evicted can tell you a lot. It’s not always a sign that you shouldn’t rent – sometimes landlords are in the wrong or it truly is out of the tenant’s control! But it will give you a better idea of their rental history and is important to note.
  • Learn more from previous landlords. Still not sure about a certain applicant? Contact their previous landlord to get a more well-rounded picture.
  • Speak with the tenant directly and verify everything they tell you. Some people can be very personable and friendly, but no matter what, you’ll always want to double-check that everything they told you during an interview is accurate. Cover all your bases!

At the end of the day, screening is the best way to protect your livelihood. We recommend our RentalConnect program as an added tool for selecting the right tenants for your property. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient, especially for those with less experience in property management. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Property Management.

Does Accepting Rent After Eviction Complicate Your Case?If you’ve ever had to evict a tenant, you may have had to deal with this issue before. Eviction is often an unfortunate reality of being a landlord. It’s something no one ever wants to go through, or put a tenant through, but when you have a nonpaying tenant or are dealing with someone who breaks the lease agreement, it rears its ugly head. An eviction can be a complicated process that requires a number of legal notices and stipulations, so it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to complicate your eviction case. You might wonder if accepting partial or full rent after notice of eviction is worth it, or even legal.

Understand Your Responsibility

Here’s the long and short of it: it’s always recommended to consult your legal counsel on issues of eviction and your legal responsibilities, but in many areas, yes, it is still perfectly legal and even acceptable to collect a partial or even a full rent payment after a tenant has been served their termination notice. Doing so does not reestablish residency for the tenant or give any indication that you intend to rescind their eviction. Often, tenants may attempt to stretch their residency by offering additional payments, but you are under no obligation to accept beyond the date of eviction. In some cases, you may even have to accept payment – this is called “right to cure” for the tenant, which gives the tenant the opportunity to rectify the defaulted payment in a set amount of time, typically a few days.

When you move to evict a tenant from your property, you’ll want to make sure you’re following all of the steps to the letter to prevent legal difficulties if the case ends up in civil court. Always review your lease agreement and confer with your legal counsel to ensure everything is as it should be. You can evict for failure to pay rent, committing illegal acts on the premises, violating the lease agreement, and more. Once you’ve served the appropriate notices and determined a tenant to be nonpaying, you can move for eviction. At this point, if the tenant offers you partial or full rent payment, you may be clear to accept it. If you do (again, consult with your legal counsel), be sure to keep an appropriate paper trail and indicate clearly to both your tenant and for your own notes that the payment is accepted for occupancy through date of eviction only. This may be important if a court appearance becomes necessary.

In some states and some cases, a judge may rescind an eviction order if a tenant pays rent in full. This varies based on your area and your circumstances. Even so, there is no reason to forego money you’re owed so long as your area allows the acceptance of said payment.

If you’re a landlord or property manager looking for a reliable tenant screening program, which can reduce the potential of a nonpaying or problem tenant, we recommend our RentalConnect program. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Credit Score.

What to Expect from a Credit Check to Rent a PropertyWe’ve written extensively for landlords on how to request, read, and use a credit check to rent a property, but we haven’t fully covered what to expect if you’re a tenant whose applying for a rental that requires credit check. How will it affect your chances and how can you prepare? We’ll discuss below.

Understanding Your Credit Score

First things first: you should know your own credit score and what it means before you wonder about what potential landlords are going to be seeing. That way there are no surprises and you know how to respond if they have follow up questions. The Fair Credit Reporting Act ensures that consumers like you have the right to know what’s on file for them with one free file disclosure every year from all major credit bureaus. There are tons of apps and websites that claim to get you your free credit report, and you can use them if you want, but you can also go directly to AnnualCreditReport.com and order. It’s the only “official” source for ordering your free reports, authorized by federal law.

Once you have your report in hand, you need to know how to read it. The three major credit bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Each of these now use VantageScore, which is a competitor of the traditional FICO score. You can read more about what that means on this VantageScore post. At its inception, VantageScore was on a different scale than FICO, which made it more confusing, but they recently moved to a similar score range model. The range for both VS and FICO is 300 to 850, and to make a complicated concept very simple, the closer you are to an 850 score, the better your credit. A “good” score is considered anything over 690 and an “excellent” score is anything above 720.

So now you have the hard numbers. Great!

Is your number less than ideal? It’s not the end of the world (or the end of your housing prospects). These scoring systems are based on a variety of factors including payment history, amount of credit you’re using, the amount of time you’ve had credit, your new credit applications, and more. Opening a new credit line can cause a temporary “ding” to your score that can take a few months to recover from, and if you’ve missed payments in the past, that may have created some scratches on your record. Sometimes people fall on hard financial times and have a rough period that they’re slowly recovering from. With the recession in our recent past, most landlords are very familiar with seeing such patterns in their applicants’ reports.

The key to dealing with a less-than-perfect credit score is showing that you’ve been making steady progress toward rebuilding it. On-time payments, paying down your credit lines, and generally being a responsible consumer are all behaviors that are going to show up on your report. If you can show a landlord that you understand your credit and have been taking real steps toward improvement, they’re going to take note. The nice thing about a full report is that it gives a landlord or property manager the full picture of who you are financially, which is good news if you’ve been working to make improvements. You don’t have to worry about an out-of-context number on the paper and hoping for the best.

If you have other questions about how to use a credit check to rent a property, let us know!

If you’re a landlord or property manager looking for a reliable tenant screening program, we recommend our RentalConnect program. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Tenant Screening.

How to Check My Tenant Screening ReportWhat is a tenant screening report, first of all? What does it include? There are a variety of answers to this question depending on which service (and which package within that service ) you choose to go with. Your report may include at least one or all of the following: criminal background check, eviction history, credit report, sex offender registry search, employment verification, and specific national or local searches as needed. Each of these reports, individually and together, can tell you a great deal about the tenant you’re considering. We’ll go over how to check each report in detail below.

CRIMINAL BACKGOUND CHECK

A background check is going to give you a full overarching picture of a potential tenant’s history, including prior convictions or notable legal issues. We’ve written in detail about what’s included in a background check before, and we highly recommend reviewing that post for a full picture. Ultimately you’ll be able to see whether an applicant has issues in their past that may make them a poor fit for your property. However, be mindful as to whether or not you are allowed to use this report in your area or whether local laws prohibit using it in housing decisions. Seattle, for example, has a local regulation in place to prevent housing discrimination that states you can’t use criminal history.

EVICTION HISTORY

It’s always beneficial to know whether your applicants have had issues with their previous housing or landlord. An eviction report will give you a fuller picture of whether or not a tenant has had difficulties keeping and maintaining housing in the past. Eviction isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but if someone has more than one eviction in the background, that’s certainly worth considering for your own peace of mind. Dealing with a non-paying or problem tenant affects your bottom line. Here’s another post about what tenant residence history can tell you about your applicants.

CREDIT REPORT

This is a big one! If landlords order any report for their applicants, it’s usually this one. In order to check this particular tenant screening report, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with the difference between VantageScore and FICO, because the number representations are different. Where one number may seem too low, it may turn out to actually be a good score in one system or the other. We highly recommend reviewing the linked post so you have a better idea of which numbers you should be looking for, as well as how to examine credit history to spot patterns in a tenant’s monetary behaviors.

SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

This one is pretty straightforward – it gives you an answer as to whether or not an applicant has ever been convicted as a sex offender. If they have, you still have control over whether or not to offer them housing, but you must be familiar with your local laws and regulations as to whether you have to notify your other tenants that there’s a sex offender in the area. This is a personal call.

EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION

Also pretty straightforward: this report will tell you whether or not your applicant actually works where they say they work. You can also call to verify if you need the extra assurance. An employer cannot legally give you details about the individual, they can only verify whether or not they are an employee.

These are the main forms of tenant screening reports you’ll be dealing with. Local and national reports may be tacked on, and those will be individual to your area. If you need more assistance in reading through your reports, we recommend consulting your legal counsel or working with an experienced property manager.

There’s plenty more to understand about tenant screening and our experts will be happy to discuss them with you if you need additional guidance. For help in selecting the right tenants for your properties, we recommend our RentalConnect program. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Background Check.

5 Facts Landlords Should Know About the Background CheckWhen you’re renting out your property to prospective tenants, you already know it’s in your best interest to have some sort of tenant screening done in order to hedge your bets and make sure you’re matching the right people with your homes or apartments. Most landlords and property managers rely on a pass/fail credit check at the very least, while others choose a more well-rounded screenings service that includes a full credit report, eviction history, and criminal background check.

The background check in particular can tell you a lot about a person.

Here are a few things you should know when you order one.

  1. They’re excellent for verifying an applicant’s information.
    A background report is one of the best ways to double check the information an applicant supplied you on their rental application. It’s likely that most of your applicants will be straightforward and give you accurate information, but it’s always possible that someone may try to fudge a few facts to better their chances. With the report in hand, you can double-check that the details they provided were accurate.
     
  2. You can include them as part of your application screening fee paid by the tenant.
    It’s possible that you’ve been hesitant to order a background check for every applicant because you’re concerned about cost, but you needn’t be. With the right screening service, a background check report is included in the cost of the screening, and that cost is paid by the applicant. For the benefit you get by including the report in your screening process, it’s well worth it. Most fees are not a deterrent for quality applicants.
     
  3. They can help you read between the lines.
    When you get a background report back and check it against the application and find everything to be in order, you may want to take one more look to be sure. Someone’s background check can give you insights into who they are as a person, including former residences, possible criminal history, and even employment history. While everything may technically seem in order, you might notice that they move every few years or have a minor conviction on record. While this isn’t necessarily a red flag, it’s worth consideration.
     
  4. They deter people who have something to hide.
    If you want to reduce your workload and receive fewer applications from flakey or questionable tenants, insisting on a background check can do you big favors in this area. When an applicant has something they want to hide because they think it might hurt their chances, odds are good they’ll move on to another rental when they see that you screen your tenants.
     
  5. Background checks aren’t usable in every state.
    You should always check your legal laws with your personal counsel to determine whether or not it’s legal for you to use a background check when selecting tenants for your properties. In some cities and states, like Seattle, there are laws in place that don’t allow the use of criminal background due to concerns about housing discrimination. Be aware whether this applies to your area.
     

There’s plenty more to understand about background checks and our experts will be happy to discuss them with you if you need additional guidance. For help in selecting the right tenants for your properties, we recommend our RentalConnect program. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Tenant Screening.

Tenant Screening Services for RealtorsThe housing market is forever in flux – sometimes it’s up, up, up, and other times it’s down, down, down. With each peak and valley comes unique challenges for realtors, whether they’re working with limited inventory in high periods or looking into rentals for their clients during the lows. There are several reasons why rentals may be in higher demand than normal, including low housing inventory, soaring home prices, people losing their homes, and much more. With increasing rental demand comes the need to be more selective in who you choose to fill your clients’ properties. That’s where tenant screening services come in.

Options for Realtors

With a constantly shifting housing market, it’s wise for realtors to be equally flexible in how they earn their income. When there aren’t enough homes to go around or clients looking for those homes, it makes perfect sense to expand your business into helping clients who are interested in renting out their home. You may be acting in the capacity of a property manager and you may even choose to pick up a few properties of your own and become a landlord yourself. A high-performing rental market is an excellent source of income, so naturally you’ll want to branch into that arena.

If you find yourself as the mediator between your client and potential renters, you’re going to want additional support in this new role. Realtors that are inexperienced in the rental market may find that selecting a tenant isn’t as easy as checking a few boxes, and at the end of the day, you want to ensure your client is happy. One bad tenant experience can sour them on the whole affair and you may end up with lost revenue because of it. Rather than risk it, you should use every support system available to you, including tenant screening services.

Tenant screening is the ideal way to get a well-rounded picture of potential clients. Through a system like the one we use at TSCI, the entire application and screening process can be complete online through an online hub. The cost is wrapped up in the application fee, which is paid by the tenant, which means neither you nor your client need worry about paying for the screening. The results are easily accessible as soon as they’re ready and you can get detailed insight into an applicant’s credit score, criminal background, eviction history, previous residences, and more.

Save yourself and your clients tons of unnecessary headaches. We recommend our RentalConnect program as an added tool for selection the right tenants for your property. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient, especially for those with less experience in property management. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.

Posted by & filed under Tenant Screening.

When we go about our daily lives, we want to assume that everyone is exactly who they say they are and they aren’t trying to trick or exploit us to get what they want. In reality, landlords and property managers are running a business and housing is in high demand. It’s inevitable that tenant applicants will try to use everything at their disposal to give the appearance of legitimacy or professionalism even where none exists. You have something desirable – a rental property – and they want it.

When It Seems Too Good to Be True

On a personal level, it’s always preferable to give people the benefit of the doubt. Most people are honest folks who want to make a living and get on with their day to day life, and those are the types of folks we love to whom we love to rent property. Unfortunately, there are always a handful of people out there who will go the underhanded route to try to pull a fast one. It’s the art of distraction, and some people are really good at it. With the right experience and advice, you can learn to spot these distractions and read them for what they are.

One such distraction is the tendency for people to try to appear more affluent than they are, perhaps in the hopes that you don’t delve too deeply into their financial history or credit. Most seasoned landlords know it’s a good idea to meet potential tenants in person before renting out a property, so when you meet your prospective tenant, consider the aura they’re giving off. Are they wearing clothing or driving a vehicle that doesn’t seem to match the area of the rental or flashing accessories at you in an attempt to draw your attention? Go with your gut on this one. If you feel something isn’t quite right, it’s worth a deeper look.

It’s not uncommon for applicants like these to try to convince you that you don’t need to look into their background, but it’s always recommended that you do so anyway. Even if you have a good feeling about a tenant from the start, it’s wise to use a screening service to make sure they are exactly who they say they are. Pay special attention to employment, financials, and credit. This is where you’ll discover whether a person truly is in a good financial position or whether they’re just attempting to appear that way. It’s entirely possible that people with limited budgets can still own nice things – in and of itself, it doesn’t mean much. However, in conjunction with a credit score and employment history, you may get a more well-rounded picture.

For help in selecting the right tenants for your properties, we recommend our RentalConnect program. RentalConnect offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to the expense of full tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient. The $34.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.