I have a prospective tenant that is from the UK. All the standard online tenant screening services I know of are only good for people with history in the US. What do you recommend I do to properly screen this tenant?
Is there a UK online service that I plug his info into? I don't know how access-to-information laws may differ there.
That's a great question. At the property I manage all of our apps go through a standard service that does not search for records out of the country. We've had many people come from out of the county and we still are required to run them through the service, even if they don't have a SSN. There will be a very limited credit history (or none at all) and nothing in criminal. It requires us to charge a larger security deposit due to no SSN and lack of credit history. We also have the resident's visa or some proof that he/she is in the country legally on file once the application is approved. I have never had an issue with a resident coming from out of the country in the 5 years that I've been doing this.
Some countries don't report (or even collect) positive credit information, only negative. There are often times special consent forms required, several types of identification or even fingerprint verification to release consumer information. The cost for international information is significantly higher than domestic reports.
I would recommend a couple lower cost options. Process a Domestic Nationwide Criminal Search to find out if your applicant is on the OFAC List or NSA Terrorist Watch List. You could also require income verification and call the references listed on their rental application.
Your Consumer Reporting Agency should be able to customize an international report to meet your needs or refer you to another company. I'm a tenant screening specialist and can help you obtain domestic or international data. Feel free to contact me directly with any questions about the subject. Good luck!
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