Your property (or properties) is most likely your biggest investment. One way to protect it is to have a good idea of who everyone you make a tenant in your building is. A face-to-face meeting will give you a decent idea about the applicant, but this is your property we’re talking about here. To be 100% certain that you’re handing the keys of one of your units to a trustworthy person is to run a tenant screening background check.

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A background check is along the same lines as a credit check. However, while a credit check is focusing on the applicant’s financial history, the background check goes a little deep into his or her past. It allows you to see if the applicant has ever been evicted, has a criminal background or damaged other rental properties where they resided.

Importance of Tenant Screening

A tenant background check will give you peace of mind that the information the applicant gave you is correct. He or she will fill out an application with where they lived in the past, their employment history and a list of references, but how do you really know if what they’re giving you is true? The background check will help verify what the applicant told you. The background check will also reduce the risk of you renting to a problem client. Of course, there no guarantees that he or she won’t be trouble down the road, but at least you’ll have an idea of what to expect.

Selecting the right screening company

Depending how complete of a background check you want, it’ll cost you between to $20 to $50. To get your money’s worth, make sure you’re using the best screening company. For starters, you can save yourself time if you use a company that can run a credit and background check on your applicant. Speaking of time, compare how quickly the screening companies can get your report back to you. You want your units filled sooner rather than later, so the last thing you want to do is to be waiting around for the results. Just make sure you’re not making your final decision based on speed; just because a screening company say it turn around the tenant background check quickly doesn’t mean it’ll be the most thorough.

Additional Sources

Your tenant’s background check will give you the nuts and bolts information you are looking for in regards to the applicant’s past. If you want to get to know him or her on a more personal level too, you may want to consider talking to people from his or her past. You’ll not only get a better feel for the applicant, but you’ll most likely get more truthful information. The prospective tenant’s employer can give you insight about his or her ability to pay rent based on their salary details. Reaching out to previous landlords can help provide you with a clearer picture of what kind of tenant you’re getting.