A tenant credit report is only part of the larger picture. However, a free tenant credit report is certainly a perfect start as it does tell quite a tale. Beware of making a crucial decision only by the credit score solely. Look at the tenant background checks in depth! Good credit score means go, right? In my experience, one can have a good score but an over-abundance of credit accounts with a balance.
Could this be a set-up for a fall? On the other side of the spectrum, a low credit score may be due to medical bills. Where looking closer, you will see that despite the score on the tenant credit report, all credit accounts are paid on time. Looking closer to the tenant credit report is the only way to reveal this.
A score is just the tip of the iceberg. Income and Employer. Anyone can write in on a rental application that they make X income and have been at Y Company for Z years.
Get proof! And more, contact these employers! Full tenant screening reports should never just be a tenant credit report number or score. There should be employment documentation and full references. What if my applicant is self-employed?
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Ask for proof! You are offering up a very expensive asset to a perfect stranger. Get to know them better.
Self-employed, ask for tax returns or bank statements. W2 earners can provide banking statements along with pay stubs. Landlord References.
I will let you in on a little trade secret. Often, a landlord is so desperate to rid themselves of a problem tenant, they will tell lies. I have never practiced this kind of deception before, but I have thought on it a bit.
Well, then, if I cannot trust a truthful landlord reference, what do I do? Go back! Ah, the landlord before has nothing to lose or gain by telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
Make sure with a rental application, preferably a free rental application , your applicants provide this vital information. Before you slam the door shut on someone with a criminal history, be cautious! It can be considered a form of discrimination. For instance, denying someone on an arrest alone, where there was no conviction may be a violation of fair housing laws.
It is important to tread lightly. Make sure that if you run criminal backgrounds, that they are run on every applicant. Choosing just a few, could result in some hot water and allegations of discrimination. When collecting information on your free rental applications, that you are asking the same information across the board. In order for an eviction to end up on a credit report; there must be an issued judgement.
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Frankly, that can take some time. However, as technology advances, there are other means to get this information. For instance, shameless plug ahead, beware! SparkRental provides nationwide eviction reports, including data from all 50 states.
How to Screen Potential Tenants – Questions, Credit & Background Check
And most of this information is not found on a tenant credit report. OK, plug over! Be a Sneaky Pete. If you see your applicant in every picture with two beers in his or her hand and every other post about the new tavern they will be visiting, this may be a red flag. I am not saying a drink now and again is a problem. However, you will see tell-tale signs of the partier, the slob, the complainer and more. All this by just by taking a gander online. Increasingly, baby-boomers and empty nesters are choosing to rent instead of buy , as they downsize and leave their child-rearing suburban homes.
Owning rental investment property in an area where retirement population is popular or on the rise such as Florida or Colorado can be lucrative for landlords. Screen Applicant No credit card required! Throw out the paper checks and Collect Rent Online. Free Background Check. Listing Management. Pay Rent Online.
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