Tenant screening process

3 Replies

Do you people actually pay for the tenant screening services that some sites have to offer? My county has a website that offers these paid for everyone, but I know others that do this for free. Which is the better option?

Hi Conan,

For the past 5+ years, I have used SmartMoves (TransUnion based) for tenant screening.

After creating a detailed property listing on their site for your rental, you can send an 'invitation' to prospective tenants so they can order and share their screening. The site allows for the option to elect tenant or landlord to pay for the screening. I always tee up the conversation with prospective tenant that in accepting the invitation they will need to make payment at the site and consent to the screening which will include a soft credit check. I've not been disappointed in the process and it has been helpful to identify who is really interested and capable of completing a simple task. Costs are nominal and results satisfactory on many levels. Using this third party that manages the consent and payment elements has been great.

I'll be interested to hear views from others. 

@Conan Fox I use Cozy (now apartments.com) for the tenant application and screening process. It’s about $40 per applicant (each tenant over 18) and provides credit and background screening.

I’ve never heard of any free services. My guess your county might provide the record lookup for county-related offenses, but probably won’t do other database checks. But maybe they do??

@Conan Fox I’ve never heard of counties offering it to everybody so that’s interesting but screening wise I and a lot of other landlords use Mysmartmove by trans union. All fees paid by applicant and you get all the info you need form credit scores to criminal and eviction history.