Tenant screening is the process of verifying a potential tenant’s background and creditworthiness. It’s important to do this because it can help you avoid renting to people who will cause problems for you or your property. You’ll want to consider asking for references from previous landlords and even getting a credit report on your potential tenants.
What Is Tenant Screening?
Tenant screening is the process of screening potential tenants to determine if they are a good fit for your property. It helps you avoid problems that can occur when you rent to the wrong tenant. It also helps you find a tenant who will take care of your property and pay their rent on time, every month.
Tenant screening usually includes background checks and credit reports, which may be done by an outside company or through your own in-house system. These checks help identify criminal history (such as arrests) and financial issues (such as bankruptcy).
Identifying a Good Tenant?
The best tenants are those who have a good credit score, clean rental history and stable employment history. You can find this information in your tenant screening report.
You should also look for a clean criminal background check. Most landlords will require one from each applicant before they move into the property because it’s important to know if they’ve ever been arrested for anything that could be considered criminal activity (i.e., domestic violence).
Another way that you can find out if someone has been arrested is by looking at their references and talking with them about it directly if there are any red flags raised during the conversation or after reviewing their reference letters/emails/phone numbers provided by applicants on their application forms
How to Do it Right (i.e. Legally)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): this law requires that you have a valid reason for conducting tenant screening. You can’t just screen everyone who applies to rent your property because it’s easy to do, or because you think it will help keep bad tenants out of your building.
- Fair Housing Laws: these laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion and sex–as well as other protected classes such as marital status or disability. It’s important to make sure your screening policies are not discriminatory by enforcing them equally against everyone who applies for tenancy at your property
Selecting a Tenant Screening Service
- Check the company’s reputation. You can do this by searching for reviews of the tenant screening service in question on Google or Yelp, or by asking friends and family members who have used them in the past. If you find that a lot of people have had negative experiences with the company, it’s probably not worth using their services.
- Look for an experienced tenant screening service. Tenant screening companies have been around since before online reviews were even invented–and when you’re dealing with someone’s credit history and criminal record, it’s important that they know what they’re doing! Make sure to ask questions like: “How long have you been providing this service?” “How many clients do you currently serve?” And finally: “Do any major publications (like Forbes) recognize your work?” If they seem hesitant about answering these kinds of questions or don’t know how much experience they’ve had working with landlords specifically…well then maybe look elsewhere!
- Check out their accreditation status with organizations like Better Business Bureau (BBB). This tells us whether there are any outstanding complaints against them that might indicate poor customer service practices going forward – so definitely something worth checking out before choosing one over another!
Tenant screening is an important part of the rental process, but it can be difficult to do it right. Tenant screening services can help you find the best tenants and avoid problems in the future by making sure they’re qualified and trustworthy enough before signing on the dotted line.