Tenant Screening: need alternative; thinks screening companies are trying to scam info

8 Replies

I have a seemingly good prospective tenant on deck. The only issue is that he thinks the background check companies are trying to get info and scam him. I tried to tell him they are not but he works for Apple and sees internet scams unfold all day long so he is very cautious. 

Does anyone know of an alternate way to check background without giving SSN?

Funny thing is that the screening companies ask me for the SSN but then tell the tenant they don't need to provide it and that is raising red flags for him.

@Bill Coleman  His resistance to having a screening check done is a huge red flag. I don't know how hard it is to get a tenant for your property, but I'd take an immediate pass on this one. 

If you still want to do some background checks, you could see if your local court records are online. With just a name and birthdate you could likely find any past legal problems. You could also try one of the online services. Google "background check" and a number of sites come up that don't require SSN. I can't vouch for how accurate any of them are, though. Good luck.

Can't do screening um that's not going to fly. How about notarized last two years tax returns, bank statements, lifescan at police station and maximum deposit allowed instead. 

I use mysmartmove.com.  They are transunion, which means they already have all of this guys info.  If I were in your shoes, I would be thinking this guy is either a liar, or a crazy person.

I would skip them and move on to the next tenant.  You may be able to get some history with name and birthdate and maybe a driver's license number but my immediate thoughts are that they are either hiding something or extremely paranoid, either way they are going to be a pain in the butt.

I will not enter into a fiscal contract with and rent to anyone that I cannot verify who they are and do my due diligence on.  What happens if you need to evict them or sue for rent/damages and they skip town?  No SSN means no traceability/trackability.

Hello @Bill Coleman , I am a LIC. RE professional in Brooklyn, so I have interacted with a gamut of people. I don't think this person is trying to pull a fast one on you regarding the background check companies. If he sincerely wants the apartment, he will go through with the application or risk not getting the apartment. 

Yes, if you are having a hard time renting in your area, then make a compromise with him to have him run is own or suggest a company for you to clear is name and reputation. Otherwise, stand strong with your screening process. 

Furthermore, some companies can let you run the background with full name, birth date, and address on license. Best, Sandy.

Rentals are very strong in my area. Places get rented in days, especially SFHs

Given the strength of our rental market I wouldn't jump through hoops for this applicant.  Tell him the screening process requires a SSN.  If he's unwilling to submit to your process you can't accept his application.  He's going to have the same issue almost everywhere he applies.

Yea. If he works for apple and is really that sharp, then he'd know better. If he thinks he's going to be able to rent a decent place without doing a check with his ssn, he's way off.

Not only that but in one county I'm in, the attorney requires the ssn of all the adults to file the eviction because they have to do some veterans check to make sure the judge isn't tossing out some veteran away on leave or something.