New trend – landlord background checks

tenantriskverification May 21, 2012 0

A new trend seems to rearing it’s head in the world of background screening – renters running background checks on their landlords. Whereas previously a background check has been an important way for landlords to verify the trustworthy nature of their tenants, roles seem to be starting to reverse.

Due to the fact that landlords have been using screening services to establish the suitability of prospective tenants for decades, it’s certainly reasonable to encourage tenants to arm themselves with information to establish whether or not their working with a legitimate owner.

Why? To protect themselves from fraud, according to chron

“People will pay the first and last month’s rent along with a hefty security deposit. Add to this the cost of switching utilities, moving expenses and even simple home decor and tenants could easily invest over $5,000 up front with their move” says Juergen Kneifel.

These costs often come with risks. The moment a tenant pays first and last month’s rent as well as that security deposit the opportunity for fraud begins. Without the proper background check by a potential tenant, how sure are they that the property they plan on renting is even owned by the so-called landlord?

Tom Hoban from Coast Real Estate says: ”It’s not surprising to me that there are people out there looking to take advantage of unsuspecting tenants in this way. What I’ve found most helpful is to know the people you’re doing business with,” Hoban said.

Hoban suggested that even if a person has keys to a house and is able to show the place as if they were the owner, you should still ask questions that would help to determine whether there is cause for concern. Perhaps asking about the former tenants or how long the property has been vacant. Ask about the typical utility bills for the place, or what day of the week garbage pickup occurs. By posing questions like this, potential tenants will get a better idea as to how trustworthy the landlord or agency is.

Ultimately, performing a background check on a potential landlord is the natural next step. In the words of Hoban, “”There is no substitute for due diligence.”

Have you ever performed a background check on your landlord? Would you, in order to mitigate any potential risks?

Source : mybinc

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