If you are a landlord, one of the most important things you can do is screen your prospective tenants carefully. This can prevent losses of thousands of dollars in damage, unpaid rent, and court costs associated with evictions. However, if you do not screen properly or use the right metrics to evaluate potential tenants, you may waste your time and money and still be unprotected. It is important to include the right screening protocols in your tenant background checks. CheckPoint Tenant Screening can help you do this.
What Is Included in a Good Tenant Screening Report?
A good tenant report contains more than just the rental history of a potential renter. It should include, at a minimum, the following:
- Criminal record. In most states it is legal and wise to obtain a criminal background check on your tenants. This is not only for your own safety but also for that of your other renters and those in the neighborhood.
- Credit score. A good credit score is one of the best predictors of a good renter. Those with high credit scores are usually interested in protecting them and will therefore pay willingly and on time and will avoid problems if at all possible.
- Eviction history. It is often possible to determine if your potential tenant has a history of evictions simply by checking rental references. Requiring a tenant to give references is a great way to quickly weed out potential problems.
- Sexual offenses. In many states, a separate sexual offense report can be run on potential tenants. This is a good way to weed out specific problems that could impact your other tenants or your neighbors.
Getting the Right Information
It is very important to read the reports you get correctly in order to obtain accurate information. If you are not familiar with how to read a credit report, for example, it is very possible that you might need help from an expert like those at CheckPoint Screening to be sure you understand your potential renter’s background.
Not only can background checks protect you from potentially bad tenants but they can also shield you from charges of discrimination. It is illegal to deny rentals to someone based on arbitrary characteristics such as age, sex, race, religion or disability. You can use your background screening data as good support for your case if you deny a tenant the right to rent.