Best renter screening services?

30 Replies

Mysmartmove.com is a good one. It's powered by Transunion, so you know it's pretty legit. 

If you plan to have online payment options, cozy.co is a good option. It's free to set up the online payment options and have their rent payment directly deposited into your account. They offer tenant screening as well and you can choose whether to pay for the screening or have the tenant pay for it directly. 

If you advertise on Zillow, their tenant screening tool is pretty good and a lot less expensive than most. Also, if you have to decline somebody they can reuse their Zillow screening for other properties advertised on Zillow for up to 30 days. Makes it less painful to decline than when somebody paid $40 or $50 for a one time use report.

Personally I use Tellus App for all my rental property management. They offer a free screening service for both the landlord and the tenant. Their report is comprehensive including credit, rental history, criminal record, verification. Check it out! 

Hi @Kristin Seitz ,

There are definitely several options for you to consider.  Regardless of provider you pick, there are only 3 'report generators' (i.e. Transunion, Experian).  Us landlord software companies simply operate as an affiliate.  The reports you get from all the sites will be one of the three; sites with same report generator will have the exact same report.  Our benefits come in the value of a platform with several other management functions/tools.

If you need additional tools to manage then I would definitely consider finding a management software to utilize.  If you only need screening, then your pool of options is a lot more.

I'd be happy to address any questions you might have.

@Kristin Seitz

I use RentPrep.com. The basic background check is through smart move and they have an option for the prospective tenant to pay and have an add on option for judgements and liens search. I also use cozy.co for listings and rent payments but have found issues with their background check missing certain details from time to time.

I just used cozy.co for our new tenants and the reports were great. $40 total for credit and background check, paid by the applicants. We also plan to use cozy for online rent collection

Originally posted by @Kristin Seitz :

We have a couple ready to rent our SFH and want to do a credit and background check. Wondering which services are good and/or which ones to avoid. TIA!

Hi Kristin, it could be worth considering a shot at a rental property management software built for DIY landlords (1 - 15 units), and helps you to automate your own rental process (ie. compared to other tools, one that helps you to get it listed on 10+ major listing sites, allows you to schedule showings, provides you with thorough tenant screening options, online digital leases, automated maintenance tracking, and fast rent collection which also offers your tenants the ability to report their positive on-time payments to the major credit bureaus; just another positive reinforcement/added incentive to get them to make those payments on time). More than happy to answer any questions that you might have! 

Hi @Kristin Seitz ,
As a realtor I've been using Cozy.co for last 2-3 years with very good results. The landlords who I rented for have not had any issues with the tenants I recommended using Cozy.co. One of the best things about this background screening site is that the tenant pays $40 for the entire screening and you as the landlord or realtor receive a detail report about the person or persons interested in renting from you. The screening includes a credit check, criminal and landlord tenant court cases. Another nice thing about the site is you won't have to gather any personal info about the person (like SS#), they input all that in the site which includes job history, income, previous residence and references to name a few. If you decline the tenant they are able to reuse that same report with another landlord. That's how I sell the tenant on paying for the service since most don't want to pay for anything. BUT as a good business practice I do collect personal info and match with the report. I do that just as CYA to cover all my bases a realtor.  

FYI.... You're also able to use the site to collect rent once you create a profile for the rental. You're also able to market the rental through the site to other major rental websites.

Good Luck with your rental!

Victor Lopez

I use Smart Property Systems and we have the Transunion tenant screening built in. I can also collect rents and manage repairs, do the accounting and advertise my vacancies.  I like it as it is easy to use and the screening reports are really comprehensive. 

@Chabane Maidi

Even with a credit report and application they used previously I still ask for a new credit report. Cozy only does a soft pull because it's the applicant running the report. I've heard about a forged credit report in the past from another agent who had that issue. In order to use the site the applicant has to fill out the application the site provides which is very detailed.

If you're a realtor cover you assets and if you're a landlord cover your assets. Hope that helps.