Tenant Screening - Background and Credit checks

3 Replies

HI everyone, 

This might sound like a dumb question but I am going to ask it anyways:

I found a potential tenant for my property. Its a mother and three kids. Two are in their early to mid-twenties and the other one just turned 18. Income and employment checks out as I already checked employment with their current employer. I am now asking for a background and credit check. Here is where I am a little confused:

Does everyone over the age of 18 needs a background and credit check or should I only focus on the mother? The 18 year old might not have a credit history yet. If everyone needs a credit and background check ($40 on average per person) what should I tell them if they complain that this is too much money? I would think that everyone needs a credit and background check but I also want to be reasonable and not have them walk away. They seem like good people from what I found so far. 

Thank you everyone as always


@Tarcizio Goncalves

Don't be naïve. There is a reason why many landlords require all potential tenants 19 years or older to have a background check done and be on the lease. Its not just to see their credit history, because most times the twenty-somethings won't have any. Its mainly to get a criminal background and eviction record. You know the mother may not have a record, but what about the older children?

When I was renting out my SFH, it always plays out as this: The person who calls us to inquire will have a swimmingly well history but once we request the history of the girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, baby mother or baby father we get a nightmare report about them.

Yes $40 is a lot but its also a very good way to weed out bad apples. If the potential tenant knows they have a clean history and really want to rent your property, they will find the money some way, somehow. However, if they are not sure if you will like what you see on the history, they will not call you back.

We dodged a couple of bad apples by sticking to our guns and made sure each person over 19 years of age pay the $40 background check.

Stick to your guns.

Hey Tarcizio! I would recommend doing, at a minimum, a background check on everyone over the age of 18. Like Brian said, you don't want to end up with bad renters. By screening everyone in the household, you can potentially avoid an eviction and other tenant problems.