Criminal background checks... On the workers in your rental home?

4 Replies

How many people make sure that the workers in their property have criminal background checks done or the company is bonded and insured? There was just an incident where a worker that a landlord found on craigslist was hire to do a job and assaulted the resident and robbed her. 

Now the owner is in legal trouble for not doing background on the worker or making sure they were licensed and bonded.

That's scary! I do not do criminal background checks on workers. But, I do make sure they are licensed contractors. They are always people I've been working with for a long time, or are referred to me by someone else.

 The only people not licensed that I sometimes hire are people to do yard work. They never go into the house.

I'm curious to see what other people do.

Originally posted by @Steve Rozenberg :

How many people make sure that the workers in their property have criminal background checks done or the company is bonded and insured? There was just an incident where a worker that a landlord found on craigslist was hire to do a job and assaulted the resident and robbed her. Now the owner is in legal trouble for not doing background on the worker or making sure they were licensed and bonded.

Could you provide a reference for that incident? I would like to read about it.

Most of our workers come to us through personal reference and professional networking. Also, occasionally we seek out vendors from Angie's list and places where tradespeople market themselves. Some are licensed, bonded, and insured...some are not. For individuals and/or businesses, I will google their name, check the Washington Courts website, and check the website for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. However, I've never run a criminal background check on a vendor. I've thought about it, but have never done so. We've actually had some good workers who had felonies in their past that we knew about. I would want to consider not only what their past shows, but how relevant it is to the type of work they will be doing for me.

Also, as a policy, we don't let workers inside tenant homes, whether or not the tenant is there, unless either an owner or representative of the owner is present. That means my husband, or I, or our property assistant will be there. We did do a full background check (including legal/criminal) on our property assistant.

Only had one tenant (in 20 years of owning residential rental property) ask about our background! It's clean... but who would know?

We never thought about this issue when we first started buying investment homes. As we started to manage homes we started looking into the liability of this issue. We used to use the cheapest guy in the truck, now we have internal Maint technician staff that are salaried employees and have all had criminal background checks done on them, actually every employee has had this done. 

Any vendor we use we always have them sign a code of conduct agreement on how we expect them to operate and also require them to provide proof of insurance and lisc information if  it is a lisc requirement.

We never let anyone in the home unless the tenant is home and over 18 and we always follow up with a customer service call to make sure the issue was resolved to their satisfaction.

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