Background Checks for Every Adult?

4 Replies


So a quick question for those of you who use any type of background/credit check/eviction/criminal history check for screening tenents.

Do you have each of your adults in the unit (maybe not necessarily the applicants) fill it out? It seems that it might become a little bit overwhelming monitarily for potential applicants if you have between 2-4 adults living in a unit and the process costs between $80-$160 (especially if they don't end up qualifying).

Do you do anything to offset those costs? Has this ever caused you a snag when renting to potential tenents?

Yes, everyone 18 and older has to fill out an application and gets a background check.  Not necessarily a full check.  But at least a criminal background check on everyone.

Check your states application fee limits. Our is $50.. background checks only cost $15

Yep anyone over 18 gets the full check and must have their name and signature on the lease. I subtract it from the deposit if I select them as a tenant otherwise I don’t do anything. The big benefit of this system is a good tenant will think they will likely get their money back and a tenant with a bad record will probably not even bother filling it out. Although I did have a lady recently who swore up and down that she was a great tenant and everything would be fine only to have an eviction and two judgements come up. I passed on that one.

I require everyone 18 and over to supply an application and do the credit/background check. It's not always about just getting the rent paid. You don't want criminals living in your building either. The credit check will also let you see if someone owes money to previous landlords and such, which could indicate that the destroyed the place. I go through SmartMove and it costs each of them $35, paid straight to SmartMove on their website. The only time I may avoid the credit check is if it's someone's kid and they are in high school or college still. I would require the background check on them though. 
Good luck!

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