Every seasoned property manager knows that landlord background checks are the key to finding quality tenants for their clients’ properties. Services that offer tenant background checks will give you a list of information that will help give you a more well-rounded picture of the person you’re about to sign a contract with. But what information is that? What does a background check include? Why are these reports helpful?
Many industries use background checks as a method of learning more about a person, whether that person is applying for a job or trying to rent an apartment. For an employer or landlord, background checks are a necessary tool for understanding a person’s history and allows them to spot patterns in behavior to a certain degree. This information reveals a lot about a person, including whether or not they could be a liability.
Typical tenant background checks include a compilation of criminal, commercial, and financial records. They can include:
- Criminal history
- Employment history
- Citizenship status
- Employment records
- Educational history
- Eviction history
- Litigation history
- Credit reports
- Military records
- Driving records
It’s extremely important that none of this information be used in ways deemed illegal on the federal or local level, such as discriminating against a person who is an immigrant or a person with a disability, but there’s other information that can be used to determine whether the person is a good fit for a job or a rental property.
As an example, employers often use background checks as a way to validate that the information a potential employee provided them in a resume is accurate. If someone says they worked for a company, but a background check shows no employment history with that company, that’s a bad sign. At best, it means the applicant fudged their resume, and at worst it could indicate a tendency to lie to get ahead or even criminal inclinations. Not exactly the makings of a model employee. Similarly, landlord background checks give landlords and property managers insight into an applicant’s payment and eviction history, painting a clearer picture as to what sort of tenant they would be.
For most rental applications, the need for tenant background checks depends on the location and type of property. Some landlords require relatively little information — such as a simple pass/fail credit report and criminal history — while others prefer a more detailed report. If your property is in a high-demand area, for example, you want to make sure you’re not selecting a tenant who’s going to skip out on rent after a few months and leave you with a noticeable dent in your finances. Better to do your due diligence and select a reliable tenant with no criminal past.
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. 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. Reach out to us for more details!
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