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How to Do a Tenant Background Search the Right Way

System - Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Property Management Blog

There were 4.8 million fraud reports sent to the FTC in 2020!

Running a tenant background check is a critical step you must take before you rent your property to anyone. You need to make sure that the person you are renting your property to has a high level of credibility. 

Any information that they have presented to you on paper or that you were told needs to be verified. However, as a landlord, there are certain rules you must follow when doing a tenant background search. 

Here's a look at how to do a tenant credit and background check the right way.

Get Consent

It is illegal to perform a background check on a potential tenant without first getting their written consent. Failing to do this can get you into trouble with the law. 

The best way to get consent is to have the background check inserted in a section of your renter's application. Another good way to do this is to create a separate form so that your tenant can permit you to do the check.

The bottom line is that you must get consent, whether you choose to do it within the renter's application or on a separate form is up to you.

Get Information

There are two pieces of information that you will need to run a background check on your tenant. You will need to have the renter's name and their social security number available.

Once you have these two pieces of information you have all you need to get the background check done.

Use a Background Check Service

Choosing tenant screening services is critical when screening a tenant. You want to make sure that your background check provider is approved and certified to carry out the job.

Take the time to carefully look at your options before making your selection. This is one of the most critical parts of the process. 

Having a highly qualified service run the background check for you will ensure the accuracy of the information that you receive.

Use the information Wisely

Once you have received the information you need to decide how you are going to use it. 

You need to decide which aspects of the background check will be a deal-breaker for you. Maybe it will be a bad credit score or a sex offense on a person's criminal record.

Once you decide what type of information is relevant. You can then decide what you will use to qualify someone as a tenant or disqualify them. 

Bear in mind too that you cannot disqualify someone, because of their age, race, or sexual preference. If you decide to disqualify someone this way, they can sue you for discrimination.

Do a Tenant Background Search

Finding out about a tenant's background is critical when you are thinking about renting a property. You must do due diligence by doing a tenant background search before you rent your property.

You need to qualify tenants based on certain criteria. The best way to do this is to get a background check and to find out facts about their past.

Fortunately, doing a background check does not have to be difficult once you use the right service. If you would like help with property management and do not hesitate to contact us.