Tenant Screening: Common Sense, Mandatory or Otherwise

tenantriskverification March 14, 2012 0

As with any debate there are always two sides.  In the argument over mandatory tenant background checks there are indeed two sides, but with very similar goals.

The movement behind mandatory tenant background checks is based on the need to lower crime rates and, subsequently, reduce the cost of police call-outs to monitor and control criminal activity.

In the city of Dubuque, Iowa their city council has enacted an ordinance requiring tenant background screening.

From their website, a document states:

The City of Dubuque wants landlords to be successful. Screening applications is a proven way to stabilize rental properties, increase occupancies and reduce complaints. As of July 1, 2011, Dubuque rental property owners/managers must perform criminal background checks on all rental applicants.

At the surface these actions appear innocuous and seemingly straight forward.  In fact some cities in Utah that have enacted similar requirements with a degree of success:

From the Deseret News, July 18, 2008:

Ogden and West Valley City have seen a 12 percent and 30 percent reduction in calls for police and fire service in high-rental neighborhoods since they implemented their programs…

Yet with the success noted above the city of Provo, Utah backed away from a mandatory to a voluntary tenant screening requirement. A rough draft of the ordinance drew unexpected criticism “from property managers concerned about being compelled to complete tenant background checks.”  (Desert News, July 18, 2008)

As reported on NBC’s Dallas-Fort Worth local news website (www.nbcdfw.com) on August 2, 2011, police crackdowns on apartment crime have reduced crime but raised concerns in other areas.

Irving police say an apartment crime crackdown has helped score record low crime rates, but critics say the measure is excluding some people from renting.

The NACCP claims that such actions requiring background screenings will unfairly target potential and existing residents.  Individuals with minor or outdated criminal histories could be discriminated against and denied their rights to fair housing.

Regardless of what side one takes in the argument for or against mandatory tenant screening one thing is abundantly clear:  Tenant background screening reduces crime.  With a population that is increasingly transitory, apartments and rental properties are often stopping points.  Running a national and county criminal history report will help reduce crimes against persons and property.

To reinforce the need for Tenant Screening one must consider a recent situation in Kansas.

KCTV, a local television station in Kansas City, recently reported on a months’ long investigation into a particular family that had a long history of moving from one rental property to another, each time being evicted or leaving just before the process began.  During their stays at given rental property the family inflicted tens of thousands of dollars in damage.  Due to the nature of their crime the police could not be involved.  Crimes against properties, in this instance, are civil matters.

TenantScreening USA.com is a professional background screening company with an educated and dedicated staff that can guide property managers and landlords alike through the vast complexities of Tenant Screening.

Source : tenant

Enter Your Mail Address