Frequently Asked Questions

How can I do a credit check on a potential tenant?

As a new landlord, you may be wondering how to run a credit check on potential renters. Or maybe you are a longtime landlord who hasn’t had tenant turnover in a while. Regardless of your situation, the fact is that every landlord and property manager is looking for stable tenants.

Tenants that take good care of the rental unit and pay rent on time save landlords money. Completing a credit check on potential tenants is one way to gauge if they will be good renters and if they are likely to meet their financial obligations.

How to run a credit check on potential renters

  1. Receive a completed application and consent to run a credit check:

    Running a credit check on potential tenants is straightforward. First, you will receive an application from a person interested in the unit. They will fill out their name, phone number, current address, social security number or tax ID, and birthdate. You should also ask for their previous landlord’s contact information and references. Download our free sample rental application for reference. The rental application will include a statement notifying the potential tenant of your plan to run a credit check, and a place for them to sign their consent. You should obtain an application from every adult potential tenant. Children under the age of 18 do not need a credit check.

  2. Order Credit Checks Online:

    In the digital age, getting comprehensive credit checks is simple with Tenant Screening Center. Our system is completely web-based, so you don’t have to carry around paperwork and the information can be easily accessed on the go via your cell phone or smart device. Order online and receive your reports quickly from our team of rental background check professionals. It’s as easy as that!

How do I find a good tenant fast?

Every day that your rental unit stands empty costs you money. Vacancies are expensive and inconvenient for landlords. When faced with an empty unit, landlords can start to worry. How can you find a good tenant fast?

7 Ways to Find a Good Tenant Fast:

  1. Put a “For Rent” sign out:
    Sometimes simply putting a “For Rent” sign in the window or in front of your rental unit is the easiest way to find tenants. Potential renters looking for units in the neighborhood can find you by driving by and call you directly.

  2. Let your current tenants know you have a vacancy:
    Do you have other tenants that are reliable? Let your tenants know that you have a vacancy. Through word of mouth, you may find potential renters that are friends or relatives of your current tenants. This can be a fast and easy way to find new tenants.

  3. Utilize social media:
    Use your personal and business social media accounts to announce your vacancies. Be sure to make your post public and encourage friends to share it.

  4. Advertise in the newspaper:
    Advertise your unit in your local newspaper in the rentals section.

  5. Advertise on Craigslist, Zillow, and other rental websites:
    This can be a fast way to engage people. You may be flooded with responses after posting your rental on a website, so be aware that these responses will need to be sifted through to find the right tenant for your unit.

  6. Hire a leasing specialist, realtor, or property manager:
    If you do not have the time to post your rental vacancy or respond to potential tenants, hiring a professional to find a good tenant may be the right option for you. This professional can spend the time to craft the right rental advertisement and go through applications.

  7. Offer incentives:
    Offering incentives such as free month’s rent, property upgrades, rent decreases, or anything you can think of!

However you find a tenant, one of the most important ways to ensure you sign a lease with a good tenant is to complete a background check. Once you find a potential renter, let Tenant Screen Center help you by completing a thorough and comprehensive background check. You’ll have a good tenant in your rental unit in no time!

How do you screen a rental applicant?

As a landlord, the process of screening a rental applicant online is straightforward:

  1. Create an account

  2. Logon to your account when you have a rental applicant.

  3. Enter the applicant’s name and email address.

  4. The applicant receives an email with a link.

  5. The applicant fills out the application online.

  6. The applicant pays for the reports and views them.

  7. The applicant shares the reports with the landlord.

  8. The landlord logs onto our website to view the applicant’s application, credit, and background reports.

Screening a rental applicant with TSC is just that easy!

How do I do a background check on a tenant?

You have a rental unit on the market, and know that you need to complete some type of tenant screening before you choose an applicant. How do you complete a background check? TSC makes the entire process straightforward. We offer all our services online and at the convenience of the landlord. You don’t have to carry around paperwork or pay for the background checks. Our online portal allows you to send the application to the potential renter, they fill out all the necessary information and pay for the reports, and you get a notification once the reports are ready to view. You can then access the reports easily online whenever you need them. No need to carry around paper files! 

What kind of background check does a landlord do?

There’s a lot of different terms in tenant screening. Some landlords call their applicants potential tenants, while others describe them as potential renters. Sometimes landlords say credit report or credit screening, when really they mean a background check. Let’s clear the terminology up.

A credit report or credit screening will show you the applicant’s credit history. This can include credit cards, mortgages, car loans, student loans, personal loans, and other lines of credit. The credit history can give you some insight into an applicant’s financial obligations, which you can then use with their employment information in the application to determine their debt to income ratio, and whether they have the funds necessary to meet the rent.

A credit report can also show you any delinquencies or missed payments. An applicant’s history of paying bills on time can be a clue for if they will meet future financial obligations, like rent, on time.

Usually, the background check a landlord does includes a credit history and a background report. A background report can include an eviction history as well as a criminal record. Again, this information can help you determine if the applicant will be a good tenant. As a landlord, you can choose whether you need an eviction history and criminal background check, or just an eviction history. If you need assistance determining the type of background check needed, contact our rental specialists at (800) 523-2381.

How do I choose a tenant screening?

There are many different tenant screening services available. How do you choose the right one for you? As a landlord or property manager, you have to determine the best tenant screening option. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Tenant screening online

  • Ease of use

  • Report paid by tenant

  • Thoroughness of screening

  • Customer service

When you consider these factors, the choice is clear. Tenant Screening Center offers all these advantages! Our online portal makes it easy to send applications to potential renters. All you need is their name and email address. We then send them a link and they fill out all necessary information for the application, background check, and credit report. You don’t have to ask questions, carry around paperwork, or call to verify anything. The applicant pays for the screening directly, so you don’t have to collect money. Once the report is complete, you can view it on our online portal anywhere from your mobile device or laptop. Our reports are comprehensive.  For an additional nominal fee, our staff will call to verify information such as previous landlords and current employment. Our criminal history report pulls from over 2 billion records. Finally, our customer service is friendly and helpful! If you need any assistance during the process, call (800) 523-2381 to talk to a rental specialist.

What background check do landlords use?

Landlords are free to choose the type of background check they perform prior to a tenant moving in. We recommend landlords always complete a background check on potential renters, even if the person comes highly recommended or you know them. There might be something in their history you don’t know about.

TSC offers thorough background checks that include verifying details of the tenant’s application such as rental history and employment. We also provide credit reports and criminal history. As a landlord, you can determine whether you need both of these reports or just a credit screening. At that very least, your background check should include a credit report, which will give you a better idea of whether the applicant will meet their financial responsibilities.

The background check landlords use is Tenant Screening Center. We serve thousands of landlords and property managers across the United States.

How do you do a background check on a renter?

Completing a background check on a renter is a simple and straightforward process with Tenant Screening Center:

  • You create an account as a landlord (your account will be authenticated to verify your identity)

  • Log on to your account and enter the applicant’s name and email address

  • The applicant receives an email with a link

  • The applicant fills out the application online and pays for the reports

  • The applicant views their reports and shares them with you

  • You receive an email stating that the reports are ready to review

  • You log onto our website to view the applicant’s application, credit, and background reports.

Since our reports are 100% online, you can access the background check anytime and anywhere. You can pull the rental background check on your mobile device or laptop computer to verify details as needed.

Does an eviction show up on a background check?

If you are using a reputable tenant screening service, an eviction will show up on a background check. A background check should include information about credit history and rental history, which will turn up any previous evictions. In addition to pulling credit reports, Tenant Screening Center’s rental specialists call previous landlords to verify rental history on the application. During our thorough background check process, any evictions will be exposed.