Zillow charges $29 to a prospective tenant that fills out an application with the credit and background check.
I'm just looking for a reality check.
Do some landlords collect the application fee directly from a prospective tenant and run the credit check themselves as opposed to the tenant paying the background and credit check agency directly?
Thanks in advance,
@Ernie Grafiada I have had potential tenants apply via Zillow in the past. I did not collect any application fee, and dont see any advantages to the additional hassle. Leave it between the applicants and Zillow
One thing I like about Zillows application is that a applicant can pay the $29 once and that will be good to submit to any landlords for I believe 30 days.
Side note: I am very open and specific of my requirements to qualify to be considered. However, people will still spend the $29 to apply when they dont even fit my criteria. So odd that they will waste the money when I've already posted in the ad they wont be considered.
I have my own applications and I run the checks myself, but if a person already paid for the Zillow application I will gladly take it as long as it has all the information I need. If it doesn't then I kindly ask for it. For the most part you will at least get a credit and background check from Zillow. The rest, such as employment and rental history, you will have to research on your own anyway because it is not verified and they will sometimes leave it blank too.l
Thank you Isaac and Leopoldo. I'm happy with the Zillow application, and you both gave me a perspective on other ways that it can be done as well.
@Ernie Grafiada one advantage to the Zillow structure (and other similar platforms), is that typically, when you run the check yourself, it is a hard inquiry. This means it dings the applicant's credit score. It's relatively minor, but if they apply to more than one place, it can add up and is obviously a bit unfair to them.
When they "run it on themselves" through something like Zillow, it is a soft inquiry and has no impact on their score.But of course, be sure to find a platform that gives you the info you need and is convenient to use.
@Dave That's a great point, thank you. I noticed that Zillow also helps the applicant whereas they can use their one time application for multiple properties if it doesn't work out with mine.
Hi @Ernie Grafiada !
Different landlords have different preferences when it comes to credit/background checks. We've found that some landlords prefer to collect the application & fee then run the check themselves, while others would like the applicant to directly complete the check. Either way, all tenant screenings are soft pulls on the applicants credit (this was changed in summer of 2020)
Whether you would like tenant involvement or not is completely up to you and what works best for your landlording systems. Cheers!
@Leopoldo Vazquez how do you run the checks yourself?
I use RentecDirect.com but I also use them as a PM software.
rentprep.com is also nice. It's what I used before.
As far as rental and work history, I call and verify myself. Tip: Run the phone numbers they give you on facebook search bar. If a mutual friend of their pop up then they are probably lying hahaha
Curious to hear whether anyone has been able to find good quality tenants from Zillow? I imagine it has good traffic, however, is it good to find high quality tenants?