How Can You Check The Background Of The Tenant?

As a landlord, you must be aware about the person to whom you are renting your property. You can check the background of your potential tenant to avoid risks and to reduce the expensive repairs after they have gone. With the background information in your hand, you are definitely able to make an informed decision to allow the particular person in your property.

Accumulate Information from Tenant 

Application Form for Potential Tenants: Try to gather complete rental information through the application form. If you are confused about the format of the form, you can download the sample from the internet or from the local real estate agencies. The form will provide you with the required information for conducting the background check. The information will help you to decide whether the tenant is a good one or a bad one. The rental application form should include the following necessary points:

  • The full name of the applicant, the contact information, the driving license number, social security number and the date of birth.
  • The previous and the current address , contact information of the former landlord , residence dates etc
  • Current and past employment dates, present income, the names and the contact information of the former and the current employees.
  • Credit references and banking information for the credit check
  • Three personal references and their contact information are required

Credit Report Authorization Form:  The potential tenants must submit a complete credit report authorization form. According to the section 604 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the landlord must ask for prior permission to the tenants for their credit check. Before obtaining a credit report, you must possess a completed credit report authorization form. The rental background check will not be possible without the authorization form. When the potential tenant refuses to provide the consent for the credit check, you can discard his eligibility for renting your property.

Take Interview In Person:  You must take the interview of the potential tenants. While taking the interview, make sure that they are comfortable and respectful while talking to you. You can ask them

  • What are the purposes of their moving?
  • Do they have a smoking habit? If yes, then outdoor or indoor?
  • What are their professions? Do they need to work night shifts?
  • Did they have any pets?
  • Who are the other family members living with them presently or in the future?
  • Do their friends and relatives frequently spend nights with them?
  • Before moving in finally, can they pay the rent of the first month or an amount as a security deposit?

Execute the Background Check

Obtain Credit Reports From Applicants: The credit reports will help you in identifying the financially stable applicants and therefore can help you in sorting. You can gain information about the bankruptcies, lawsuits, foreclosures etc. The credit companies can provide credit scores for displaying the financial stability. The typical credit score must be 620 for applying for a rented apartment. You can obtain the report online or from credit reporting bureaus.

Pull Background Check:  You can get an entire background check from a reputed tenant screening company. The fees for the background check can be ranging from $20 to $50.

Contact References:  You must contact the previous landlords, the employers and the local references of the applicants for verifying the information provided by them.

Though you can obtain the sample forms online, it is always advisable that you consult with attorney who specializes in the property law for ensuring that you have covered all the documents that you require.

Author Bio:  Stuart Peterson is a Property manager.  In this article, he is providing tips to the landlord for taking rental background check for the tenants.

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