Last Updated on April 29, 2021
As a landlord, you want to ensure that potential renters are safe and the best fit for your property. Interviewing future tenants and doing a credit check is important, but you should take the screening process one step further and perform a tenant background check.
In this article, we will talk about the importance of doing a background check of your tenant. We will also discuss ways you can go about performing a background check. This way you know you are making an informed choice when you choose your tenants.
Note: This article is part of a series on totally free background check no credit card required.
Why You Need to Perform a Tenant Background Check
A background check is crucial when you are renting any type of property out. This step will not only improve the security of your property but will prevent any potential damage and conflict from occurring down the road. Without checking a tenant for possible past offenses, you risk letting criminals and other high-risk individuals into your life. This could cost you legal fees, revenue, and even your life.
You will have to deal with your tenant on a daily or weekly basis, in a range of situations. However, if they have a violent past, it could become dangerous and even lethal to get into a confrontation with them. So it’s important to keep this in mind, especially if you want to increase the odds of having an agreeable and safe renter.
You also have to think about the safety of renters, and the area you live in. If you have other tenants, they should be kept safe with a background check on any future neighbors. If you don’t have multiple renters, you still owe it to your local community to make sure that you are housing a suitable tenant
Really, you want high-quality and serious renters. No landlord should waste their time negotiating with someone who won’t be able to pay rent, or isn’t qualified to rent a property.
So, in short, this check is essential when you are screening any applicants for a rental.
A criminal record should not automatically lead to rejection of course. You should look at the charges and the circumstances. But in a lot of cases, it doesn’t hurt to know what your renters have been up to in their past.
Liability and Safety
Tenant Background checks are popular for a reason. You are not allowed to discriminate or reject applicants on the basis of a criminal record alone. But, if you can prove that there is a potential danger in renting to an individual than you can deny them tenant status.
You might want to overlook this, or not run a background check at all. This is a tempting action to take. You won’t have to pay money for a screening service or dig too deeply into a renter’s past. However, this option does not come without its own risks. Safety is one issue of course, but there are also liability issues to consider.
Whether you know it or now, you are responsible for everything that goes on in your property. If something goes wrong, you can get sued for not running a check on your tenant. In other words, even if you didn’t know that they had a past you can get into trouble.
Really, you should just run a check so you don’t fall into a possible legal bind with your other renters or neighbors. And, in truth, having a mandatory background check will help keep the screening process smooth and seamless.
Shady individuals who want to cause trouble or hide things will be less likely to try and rent your property with this safety measure put in place. This isn’t always the case, but at the very least you can discourage more dangerous criminals from contacting you for a rental.
How To Run A Tenant Background Check
You can find a reliable program with a quick google search. This process is fairly simple and accessible to landlords. There are a number of software that help you find criminal records and other information pertaining to your renters.
Social security and other identifying information is imputed in a database and scanned with background check software. You also need the renter to sign an agreement form for a background check as well.