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How Can You Conduct a Tenant Background Check?

How Can You Conduct a Tenant Background Check?

Your tenant isn't paying their rent on time. They're keeping neighbors up at all hours of the night. They're being a nuisance in general.

You may have been able to avoid this had you run a proper background check on them. But that begs the question: how do you conduct a tenant background check?

That's where this article comes in. Without further ado, here's how to run a criminal background check to find great tenants.

Obtain Consent

First and foremost, you need to obtain consent from the prospective tenant. If you run a background check on a prospective tenant without first receiving consent from them to do so, you will be breaking the law.

It's easiest to just obtain consent within the rental application. Include language informing the prospective tenant of your intent to run a background check, letting them know that their signature enables you to legally do so.

Get Prospective Tenant Information

In addition to obtaining consent, you'll also need to obtain the prospective tenant's personal info. This includes their name, date of birth, and social security number. You'll need this information in order to carry out a full background check.

Find a Reputable Background Check Service

Next, you'll need to find a reputable background check service. There are a number of companies that can run a tenant screening for you. Find one that has a solid reputation, pay the required fee, and submit the prospective tenant's personal info.

Regardless, though, make sure that the chosen company is approved by the Federal Trade Commission.

Note that most companies charge $30 to $40 for such screenings. You can pay this out of your own pocket. However, it's customary for the prospective tenant to pay it in the form of an application fee.

Are you curious to learn more about some of the best background check companies? These include but aren't limited to GoodHire, Sterling, and Ameriwide Screeners.

Set Screening Criteria

All sorts of information can show up on a background check. Some of this is substantial enough to deny an applicant. Note, though, that not every red mark needs to be a reason for denial.

Before receiving the background check, you're advised to set screening criteria so that you know what to check for. Will you penalize an applicant because they committed a felony as a minor? Will you deny any applicant with an eviction on their record?

This is all up to you but is extremely important to consider. If you need help setting such criteria, consider hiring a property management company.

Running a Tenant Background Check Is Vital

When it comes to finding tenants, running a tenant background check is vital. It not only ensures that you're taking on respectable tenants but also reduces the risk of complications arising in the future.

Are you, by chance, in need of property management services? If so, and if you're in the San Mateo, CA area, we here at Five Star Property Management are the people to see.

Contact us now to get to discuss our services in greater detail!

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