In tough economic times more and more families are looking to rental properties as a means to making housing affordable. And now more than ever there are greater options available to rent. Single family dwellings, condominiums and apartments are a few rental options available on today’s market. While selecting the right property to rent can be a significant challenge for a renter, selecting the right renter can be an equal challenge to any landlord or property manager.
There are two key considerations landlords and property managers consider in regards to rental property: Time and money.
Time is obviously important as empty properties earn no income. Additionally, an empty property requires upkeep and maintenance and, in some cases, can reduce the value of adjacent units. Empty rental houses are prime candidates for theft and vandalism. They can create a significant burden not only to landlords and owners but the community they exist within. Filling an empty unit is critical. Returning a unit to a profitable status is a fundamental task of any rental manager. Money, or cost, is a significant consideration as well. Keeping costs low is elementary to increasing profits but often the consideration of cost may lead to short cuts in critical components of the rental process. Most landlords realize that background checks are important but not always essential. They may run a credit check to ensure a potential tenant can fulfill the obligation of a leasing contract but often that is the only step.
Conducting a background check, or tenant check, need not be an arduous process, or expensive. Most complete tenant screenings can be fulfilled for around $25. They are conducted on-line and often provide information within hours on a safe and secure web based portal.
Today’s tenant checks should include the following reports:
- National criminal check – provides information on a criminal past on a national basis. In most states this information is reportable for the past seven years.
- Credit report with score – provides information on a potential tenant’s fiscal capability.
- National sex offender check – provides information on an individual’s past that may preclude them from living in an environment filled with children and young adults.
- Rental fraud warning – rental fraud is a growing trend in most major metropolitan areas of the United States.
- Detailed rental address history – provides information on the transitory disposition of a potential tenant.
- Leasing recommendation – tells you whether or not you should lease to a potential applicant and under what circumstances such as “accept with a qualified guarantor”
A leasing recommendation takes into account pre-set parameters a leasing agent or landlord sets in place and subsequently makes a recommendation based on the information retrieved through the background screening process.
Vetting a tenant is critical to the success of any rental unit. Creating a safe environment for new tenants as well as existing tenants can often be achieved through an interview as well as a thorough tenant check. Renting to the right tenant can reduce exposure to risk as well as potential loss. Tenant checks conducted online are safe, inexpensive and provide the information any landlord needs to make an informed decision.