tenant screening

18 Replies

I haven't had to screen a tenant in a while.  What have you found to be good tenant screening services for your money?

I suggest getting as much information as possible about the tenant. You can charge prospective renters for the screening fee, so there should be no out-of-pocket expense to you. 

Look for a Consumer Reporting Agency that offers more than just a database searche. For example, if you are getting a Nationwide Criminal Search, make sure that records found are verified with a County Criminal Search. A good company should also be able to complete the employment and rental verifications for you. Good luck!

I would say your local property management service they do an excellent job of this depending who you hire for the job also there are things you could do such as setting up requirements they must meet to qualify for the property 

Seconding what Damon said. Real Estate is a team effort. I solely take my PM advice in placing a tenant. They've had to deal with several good and bad tenants so screening bad tenants (legally) is second nature to them. I don't trust my own experience to do so. 

For small landlords (or individuals) I have found Cozy to be a good option. Here is the link to Cozy Tenant Screening.

They offer many more services such as rent collection online and much more. I think it's free to sign up and then just pay for services you use. Tenant screening is changed to the prospective tenant.

Good Luck.

I have used tenantscreeningreport.com in the past and have had excellent results as far as getting a background check and credit check done on prospective tenants. I believe biggerpockets also has a company that you can get a discount with called Transunion SmartMove. I haven't had a chance to use them yet because my tenants are long term and haven't moved out!

I would also suggest checking your applicants for evictions. This information is public and can be checked yourself. 

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Looking for a website that I can run a credit/background check on our in applicants. Applicant has filled our application and signed the consent to perform credit check. I do not want to bother them by filling out another form online.  I will be picking up the credit check fee.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Originally posted by @Joe Moore :

I haven't had to screen a tenant in a while.  What have you found to be good tenant screening services for your money?

 Hello Joe,

Screening tenants can be one of the most difficult things to do prior to leasing a place. The first thing you need to do is gather as much information as possible. Get their current income, ask about any prior arrests, etc. Use this information to get their credit report.

It is always important to see how much they own is past due debt. There are many factors that go in to deciding if you have found a good tenant or not.

If you have any questions about this, or need more information about the process, feel free to contact me.

We are now using Transunion SmartMove and have found the service to be easy to use, more private (I don't personally like to provide my SS# to just anyone), and as a landlord very informative and accurate.

I second smartmove. I recently signed up for it and the platform is super easy to use.

I haven't gotten to actually use it yet as my leases are not up but u will certainly utilize them when the time comes.

They offer credit report and background checks for about $30 which can be paid by the applicant or you however you choose. I'll probably make them pay the fee then credit it toward the first month rent if they are accepted.

Correction -
"I haven't gotten to actually use it yet as my leases are not up but I* will certainly utilize them when the time comes. "

I'm a big fan of TrueRent.com. Their screening is complete. Screening includes credit w/score, criminal and evictions checks for $19.95.

Pros: Price which is better than most that I have found, The applicant pays online, good customer support.

Cons: They don't offer decision advice, The reports are only saved for 30 days then deleted (Be sure to print or save the reports on your local machine) 

Overall this is the best/economical solution I have found. 

@Justin Yung  Do you only run the criminal report and credit recommendation? I feel its important to have the credit eviction records too, which is an extra $10. 

Nowadays, I have the renter pay the fee, which is $35, and does include the credit eviction record. 

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