Accepting the wrong tenant is a nightmare for all landlords and property owners. If you are in the industry for long enough, there is a high likelihood that you encountered one in your operations. What makes it worrying is that when criminals come to roost, kicking them out is a tough challenge.
One of the ways to minimize these occurrences is running a Tenant Criminal Background Check. There are software solutions available that will allow you to see if the applicant has a few skeletons in their closet.
Nowadays, it seems that you can’t do anything without leaving behind a digital footprint. Whether you are arrested for DUI, assault, or evaded previous debts, chances are, somebody is recording them somewhere.
Here are some of the pieces of information you will find in a Tenant Criminal Background Check app:
- Federal, state, and county criminal records -- A comprehensive report will be generated from public records, police stations, and courts. However, there is a whale of a difference between a conviction and an arrest. You still need to assess each candidate’s application regardless of their background.
- Credit report -- More than the criminal background check, this feature is much more valuable to the landlord. It speaks volumes of the ability of your new tenant to pay your rent. Of course, banking laws prevent the landlord from taking a peek into the tenant’s credit score. However, you can see the financial history, such as bankruptcy, loan amounts, payables, or civil lawsuits arising from non-payment of rent.
- Sex offender registry -- A sex offender in your property is the quickest way to get other tenants to leave. Even if some states mandate that landlords should not discriminate against registered sex offenders, you still have a business to run. It is the type of information you need to protect the occupants of your property.
- Employment history -- You can also see if the tenant currently has a job, the company they are connected to, and possible proof of income. With that information in hand, you will be able to evaluate whether or not they have the capacity to afford your rent. The tool will also pull out the previous employment of the applicant. Somebody who is always transferring jobs in short periods is a major red flag. They are not the right candidate for a long term tenant-landlord relationship.
- Eviction records -- You can take a peek into the rental performance of the tenant, particularly if they have been evicted from a property before. You can also determine if they were the subject of legal action due to non-payment of rent, property damage, or other violations to the lease.
Using the app, you can get the references from the previous landlords of the applicant. The handy feature will save you a lot of headaches by knowing for sure their behavior as tenants.
However, it is crucial to note that a criminal record does not automatically exclude the potential tenant from renting your property. You should always be mindful of the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on race, religion, gender, age, and disability, among others. You need to also notify the tenant regarding the reasons why you are rejecting their application.