What public sites do you use for backround checks?

7 Replies

I use pacer.gov to search court cases, which is very useful.  I was wondering what other sites you guys use for screening tenants before paying for credit and backround checks. 

I have the tenants pay for the background check as part of the application fee. I use Cozy.co

PRIOR to background  and credit, I just search the local county online records and make calls to past landlords and employer. For the actual payed background and credit, I use mysmartmove which charges the tenant directly. I have been happy with the information provided on there, it goes down even to 10 year old speeding tickets. I am impressed with the info given.

So you guys always have prospects fill out an application. And then have them go online and fill out the info again if you want a credit check? I would think filing out their info once is ideal. 

@George V. It seems a little redundant but that’s what I do. I use my application as a resource that has all of the pertinent qualifying info for me to help make my decision. Then , I use SmartMove for proper background/credit check. SmartMove also gives a rating which helps justify the tenant.

TransUnion’s SmartMove is fantastic...I just screened a couple that wanted to rent one of our units and it was super easy.  You just plug their email info in and it sends them a link where they pay by CC and the results are returned within minutes.  I get reports back on their credit, criminal background, income, and eviction record and then it gives you a recommendation to rent or not.  

Originally posted by @George V. :

So you guys always have prospects fill out an application. And then have them go online and fill out the info again if you want a credit check? I would think filing out their info once is ideal. 

 I have them fill out the application, then I go home and search the local courts online, social media, Google, and do a cursory data check of the info they've filled out.  If it looks good, I arrange to meet with them the following day for a contract to hold and then I call the prior landlord and employers, and then finally run the background check.  I use tenantbackgroundsearch.com, which I found much more useful than the prior vendor mentioned above.  I enter the data myself and then the tenant gets an email to verify identity and then the check is run.  I absorb the cost of the background check as a cost of doing business.  I only run the check at the very end of the process and only if I am prepared to offer them the unit.

I use Transunion which is built into my property management software.  That software is Smart Property Systems and there is a direct link with Credit and criminal background checks.  Once the tenant fills out the identity verification sent by my software, it goes to Transunion and I have a report back in about 1 hour.  I get credit score, history and criminal
background checks for felony on state and federal levels, homeland security list check, sexual predator lists and eviction history.  After that, I check with the employer listed on the application to verify income.  I also check with the previous landlord and any references that are given.  I have had great results from using these sources and get tenants who pay on time, keep the property clean and report needed repairs responsibly.