Don’t forgo the background check or you may be sorry.
Read more about how a simple background check can save you from a lot of hassles in the long run.
For many property owners, going through the process of conducting a background check on prospective renters may seem like just one more hassle and/or cost.
Many property owners will rent out a property to someone because they “have a good feel” for the person upon their initial meeting. Good feelings aside, however, you honestly have no idea who a prospective renter really is.
Before you trust them with your property, consider the following:
1. Running a background check protects you as the landlord. Not only does it provide you with information about credit and eviction history, but also it provides you with legal documentation (as required by the FCRA and the Fair Housing Act) for turning down a potential tenant. It simply isn’t enough, legally, to say that you don’t have a good feeling about a particular renter; you need to give them concrete reasons that can be backed up by their credit report and/or rental history for rejecting their application.
2. A background check will verify a potential tenant’s employment status and income. It’s not enough that a renter can come with cash-in-hand for the first month’s rent and deposit. As a landlord, you want to make sure that they’ll be able to pay their rent on-time and in-full every month.
3. Most background checks also include a criminal history report. Most property owners do not want someone with a criminal record, particularly a recent or violent one, staying in their properties.
4. You will receive the contact information for former landlords/property managers of the prospective renter. Asking just a few pertinent questions of former landlords will help to give you a better idea about the type of tenant someone will be. You’ll get this information in the documentation from a background check.
Remember, running a background check helps you minimize your risks so you can maximize your profit!
Limiting your prospects to only those that have been properly screened and who have passed your application process is the best way to protect your investment and yourself against potential liabilities. With a good, stable tenant in place, you can rest easy knowing you’ve protected yourself and your property to the best of your ability.
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- Corporate Housing Landlord Responsibility: Part II of III