Tenant background screening is a vital part of the rental process. While it can be tempting to get the rent coming in right away with the first applicant. Patients can save you thousands in unpaid rent, damages and attorney’s fees down the line. Whether you have one unit or an entire complex, you need the benefit of having conducted your due diligence on prospective renters.
Even a basic tenant background check can save you from many headaches down the line. You wouldn’t invest in a car you haven’t driven or a home you haven’t had properly inspected. A background check is a minimal cost in comparison to the risk of blindly accepting a tenant. Of course, based on the value of the property and cost of the rent, you may want a more in-depth background check on someone applying for a more expensive property. A good rule of thumb is to invest at least 3% of one month’s rent on a background check for each adult tenant.
What will a tenant background check Look at?
Here are some areas that a tenant background check would typically cover.
- Social Security Number Trace: the SSN helps verify whether the information you have about the tenant is accurate. The SSN can help verify the date of birth, as well as reveal name variations, previous addresses, and maiden names.\
- Bankruptcy: While this doesn’t necessarily mean someone would make a bad tenant, bankruptcy indicates risk. Multiple bankruptcy filings may indicate financial instability.
- Liens and judgments: These court filings are common but be wary when they have had a pattern of issues such as contract violations and payment disputes over recent years.
- Criminal record and sex offender registry: A renter with a recent criminal history can be a liability. This is especially true if their crime relates to violence, sex offenses, and property damage.
- Past evictions: Everyone needs a second chance at times. Once again, a pattern of behavior can indicate the future.
- Credit report: a credit report can indicate how responsible a person has been with paying what they owe. They’ll give you an idea of how diligent the person is with finances. However, it won’t be as helpful if they have little to report.
Get the Right Background Screeners for the Job
Tenant background checks are advertised frequently online. Many companies out there will try to sell you instant reports with vague results. Don’t gamble when it comes to your property. SafeScreener is the company you want for diligent tenant background checks and unbeatable customer support. SafeScreener has worked with property owners, property management companies and municipalities for over 15 years. Call or email us today for more information on how we can streamline you tenant screening process!