Landlords spend countless dollars and valuable time on advertising and make-ready repairs. Their ultimate goal is to be fully occupied with good paying renters. Renters that pay on time do not bounce checks and do not engage in any criminal behavior. Smart and savvy landlords protect themselves and their investments. Losses from unpaid rent and eviction proceedings can be decreased or eliminated by using a tenant screening service. Tenant screening reports can include credit checks and background checks that give landlords a report card on rental applicants.
Background checks can help weed-out potential illegal and dangerous activities. Landlords who do background checks can diminish their chances of being sued or charged for criminal activity. Though laws vary by state and city landlords can be held liable for the actions of their tenants. For example, if a landlord knows or should have known, that a tenant is manufacturing/growing and/or selling illegal drugs to people in the community and someone is injured or dies from taking those drugs, the landlord could be held liable. In extreme cases the federal government could step in and confiscate the property.
Tenant screening services provide credit reports and background checks that help reduce liability. Credit reports show payment history and help with discovering a potential renter’s debt to income ratio. In most cases a credit report will also show previous addresses so the landlord can verify history. Background checks can cover: Social Security Death Index Check, Social Security Number Validation, OFAC/Patriot Act Search, Evictions, Bankruptcies, Liens and Judgments, Sex Offender Search and Criminal Records Search. Landlords who understand the best practices in property management incorporate tenant screening in their processes. They protect their investment and avoid future legal problems. Screening tenants is quick, easy, and inexpensive considering the long term cost and time spent on evictions, legal fees and repairs.