Checking Out Potential Tenants with Background Checks

One way a landlord can protect herself against bad tenants is by conducting a simple background check on each and every potential tenant; after all, you want to make sure your home and the furnishings in it will be treated with respect and you want the best tenant possible.

The Internet has made is uber easy and inexpensive to conduct background checks on potential tenants. You can check everything on a potential tenants, including an individual’s:

  • Credit Report
  • Eviction Report
  • Applicant Fraud
  • State and National Criminal Report
  • Sex Offender Search
  • Terrorist Search
  • Prior Address History Verification.

Such reports will enable you to make an educated decision about working with an individual based on her prior behaviors. A simple background checks, in my opinion, offers peace of mind and the ability to rent to someone with more confidence and instant trust from the start.

Who Pays? Oftentimes landlords will build this fee (which is about $25) into the rental rate, however, many landlords pass along this fee to their tenants. You may choose to work out a deal – for a tenant who signs a longer lease, you waive this fee; for a shorter-term renter (60-90 days) the tenant pays the added fee.

Where Can I Buy a Background Check? Some good services that regularly conduct background checks on potential renters include Transunion: Smartmove. You can find the company’s information on the Transunion: Smartmove page.

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