Tenant Background Check
As a landlord renting out your property to a complete stranger is always going to be a very daunting thought. You have no idea who the person is that is about the be living in your house, you also have no knowledge of their financial history, or if that person has a bad past. Anyone smart would know not to be fooled by fancy clothes, accessories and cars which is why the best way forward as an uncertain landlord is to perform a background check on any prospective tenants.
The easiest way to accumulate information on a potential tenant is to have he/she complete an application form for the property. On this form you need to include:
- The persons personal information; Full name, Social security number, D.O.B, and where applicable their drivers license information.
- Previous and Current housing history; Current and previous home address, the dates in which he/she occupied the property, contact details for previous landlord.
- Financial Information; Here you are basically asking them if they are employed if so by whom, and what their income is. If the person has been working for that company for a short period of time then previous employer is also necessary.
- Bank information; Name, number, account number and address.
- Credit references and contact details.
- Personal reference (a minimum of two).
To successfully and legally be able to carry out the checks you will need to get the applicant to sign a credit authorisation form. The only thing left to do once all of the information has been gathered is to perform that background check based on the answers that the applicant has given. This is easy enough to do as there are websites in place specifically for landlords to screen their tenants.
A number of potentially harmful categories are tested when the tenant is being screened. These include:
- A credit check to make sure that the tenant is in fact able to pay their bill on time, whether it be weekly, bi weekly, monthly etc.
- A criminal record check - this is important in making sure that both yourself, your neighbours and your community will remain safe.
The information that is gained from these checks remains invaluable to a landlord, it helps prevent you as the landlord from liability. The more information you are able to gather about the prospective tenant the better equipped you are to make an informed decision on whether they are the right person to rent your property or not. Although yes, it is possible that someone with a criminal record may in fact have changed or you just find that it is over something quite small. The fact of the matter is you will feel better as a member of your community and as a landlord having that information under your belt. And knowing that the decision you made was based on the truth found in the checks.