Finding good renters and avoiding the bad tenants is the goal of every landlord and/or property owner. However, many leasing agents are not correctly researching the background history their prospective renters and this is one of the reasons why there are so many judgments occurring against bad tenants. This process of tenant screening should start with requesting that your prospective renter complete a lease application. The rental application should ask the lease applicant to give you a history of past addresses, employment and financial information as well as a list of references. The lease application will serve many purposes that will help you as a landlord in the process of screening the rental application. The information that your prospective tenant gives to you will contain the vital information that you will need to have to proceed with a tenant screening. You may want to consider charging rental application fees to compensate for the expenses of conducting background history reports on prospective tenants.
Once you have been able to confirm your rental applicant’s employment status and banking information by verification with employers and financial institutions and contacted past rental managers to confirm on your applicant’s payment record as a renter, it is highly recommended that you order a comprehensive tenant screening to conduct a background check on the rental applicant person wanting to rent from you. There are many different ways for landlords to obtain tenant screening background data, but unfortunately, many of these online services don’t provide even the basic essential information that a landlord should have in order to be able to conduct a good tenant screening background check. It is very important to know that many services only give you in-state data and does not include nationwide records for items such as past judgments and criminal background information. Also, another major issue with many service providers is that their databases are very outdated and not current. This may cause the property manager to be ignorant about a recent unlawful detainer or court action that could have been uncovered by a service which has access to more recent background data. We recommend that you order your reports from a service like Tenant Screening Background Check which uses experienced private investigators to conduct all of your tenant screening reports.
If is also important to obtain some form of credit data for your prospective tenant even though it is not unusual to order a credit report and see very little information about your applicant. You are looking for warning signs on the screening report such as many recent credit inquires and collection accounts. One of the most important items any property manager looking at a tenant’s background history should be on the lookout for is past judgments and any criminal history. Unlawful detainers are really a big issue because it tells you that this unscrupulous person forced out of the property by a previous landlord or property owner.
A well researched applicant background report will give you a very good bird’s eye view of exactly where your prospective tenant has resided for the past 20 years. You can compare your tenant’s application for lease with your applicant’s screening report, you can find any discrepancies. There is almost never a good reason to grant a lease to a renter if you find that your applicant is concealing information or lying to you. If you see many reasons for concern, this is most often something telling you that you may be heading in the direction of bad things to come with this applicant.