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General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Ryan Guthrie
  • Richmond Hill, GA
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Credit/ Background Check

Ryan Guthrie
  • Richmond Hill, GA
Posted Jan 8 2017, 10:36

Hey y'all,

What service/website do you use to screen a potential tenant with a background and credit check? How long does it take? What is the fee? I am in the process of renting my first house, and any tips on screening tenants is appreciated! I have been using the tenant screening guide on this forum.

Thanks,

Ryan

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Jimmy Williams
  • Fayetteville, GA
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Jimmy Williams
  • Fayetteville, GA
Replied Jan 8 2017, 10:44

Possibly you could use credit karma. 

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Jordan Moorhead
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Austin, TX
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Jordan Moorhead
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Austin, TX
Replied Jan 8 2017, 11:03

I use the service through Zillow

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Linda S.
  • Investor
  • Richmond, VA
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Linda S.
  • Investor
  • Richmond, VA
Replied Jan 8 2017, 11:15

Cozy.co, it does the full background and credit check for $39, which the applicant pays.. if it's clean, comes back in 24 hrs, if they find issues, it can take a few days.. very thorough though!

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Jack Edgar jr
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Chicago, IL
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Jack Edgar jr
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Chicago, IL
Replied Jan 8 2017, 11:46

Check out Renterresume.co. I have used it for my rentals. What's really nice with this site is that it does all the money collection and analysis and puts the tenant info in a nice report for you. Just give ur prospect the link to your listing and it does the rest. 

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Michelle B.
  • Investor
  • Lebanon, OH
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Michelle B.
  • Investor
  • Lebanon, OH
Replied Jan 8 2017, 11:49

Ryan Guthrie

Whatever you decide to use - just make sure you run an eviction check as well. Some services offer it as part of a package and others do not...

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Adam Fout
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Marysville, OH
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Adam Fout
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Marysville, OH
Replied Jan 8 2017, 11:59

Ryan Guthrie I used Rentprep.com last month and I was very pleased with the service. I wanted an online service where I could give the tenants name and social and they give me a background and credit check, that simple. I did not want to mess with getting the tenant involved in the process. I did just that and I had a full report back within 4 hours. (I submitted it early in the morning before they were open). They have 3 package levels you can buy. I chose the middle package and added a credit check, total was around $32. They do not give you a full credit report, you tell them your criteria based on credit score, and they tell you if your tenant passes. I liked this feature. Fortunately I found an all star tenant with nothing on his record so I did not get to see how they report details of any past records.

Rentprep is easy and straightforward. Most of the other sight want to provide screening services and make the process more complex. That may be great for larger companies, but for someone like me with one property, simple was better!

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Rick S.
  • Fort Collins, CO
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Rick S.
  • Fort Collins, CO
Replied Jan 9 2017, 12:31

@Ryan Guthrie another popular one is TransUnion SmartMove as it really depends on how many screenings you will be actually running per year to be honest.  There are services where you can provide the SSN of the applicant to the service and they run it for you, however the issue is that this type of service typically requires either a home inspection or you don't get to see the full credit report details.  This can also be a hard inquiry on the applicant's credit.

Other services like SmartMove don't require a site inspection, however it does require the tenant to verify their identify on the SmartMove site and that is a "soft" inquiry as they are releasing the information to you.  

There are pros and cons of both types so keep that in mind when reviewing the different services.  

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Bill Hampton
Tax & Financial Services
Pro Member
  • Tax Strategist, Financial Planner and Real Estate Investor
  • Atlanta, GA
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Bill Hampton
Tax & Financial Services
Pro Member
  • Tax Strategist, Financial Planner and Real Estate Investor
  • Atlanta, GA
Replied Jan 10 2017, 11:23

Smartmove and Cozy are both good.  

Account Closed
  • Interior Decorator
  • Miami FL
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Account Closed
  • Interior Decorator
  • Miami FL
Replied Mar 1 2017, 09:06

I highly recommend Experian at https://connect.experian.com/  

I don't recommend TransUnion at all.

All you enter is potential tenants name and email and your reason (tenant credit check).

They receive an email and costs $ 14.95

I also have them fill out an application and call previous/current landlord.

If they want someone to cosign like a parent i require credit check on cosigner as well. Trust me cosigners can be worse. Also be careful with non married couples if one of them can't afford the rent on their own. You as a landlord put yourself in a position of needing the relationship to be maintained. 

John

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Andreas W.
  • Durham, NC
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Andreas W.
  • Durham, NC
Replied Mar 1 2017, 09:32

I have used

https://www.tenantbackgroundsearch.com/

in the past. For $30 you get a national eviction check and a credit report rather than a credit check. The report will tell you how much the amount of money in collection.

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Jeff B.
  • Buy & Hold Owner
  • Redlands, CA
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Jeff B.
  • Buy & Hold Owner
  • Redlands, CA
Replied Mar 1 2017, 09:37
Originally posted by @Michelle B.:

Ryan Guthrie

Whatever you decide to use - just make sure you run an eviction check as well. Some services offer it as part of a package and others do not...

 Great advice, but just recently in Calif, due to the severe housing shortage, the reporting agencies are now (would you believe it) FORBIDDEN to provide eviction records (they may even now be expunged from public records).

I've always relied upon the 30,60,90 day lates and insisted that there are none withing the last six months.