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Property Management Blog

How Can You Conduct a Tenant Background Check?

Did you know that over 44 million households rent in the United States? Whether people rent because they are saving for a home or just want somewhere temporary, it is important to get the best tenants if you rent out your property.

Have you ever wondered how to conduct a tenant background check while you are finding tenants? Here are some steps to take so the process goes smoothly.

Get Consent for a Tenant Screening

Once you find out how much your property will rent for, you can receive tenant applications. With the applications, you should let your potential tenants know that they need to consent to a criminal background check.

You can include the signature and statement in your background check that shows they give consent, or you can provide it as a separate form for them to fill out.

Find a Reliable Criminal Background Check Company

Although there are many background check businesses available for your use, not all are made equal. It is important to research companies so you receive the most accurate results of your tenant screening.

The most important qualifying factor is that the company has approval from the Federal Trade Commission. You can also look at online reviews or ratings to narrow down your choices.

Figure Out Payment

Background check companies charge a fee to complete the service for their clients. Usually, this fee can be anywhere from $15 to $50 or more, depending on your needs.

You can either pass along the cost to potential tenants, or you can pay for it yourself. If you run background checks on all potential tenants, it may be better to charge them for the cost of the background check. This can save you money during the application process.

Familiarize Yourself With Laws

Each state has different laws regarding how you can provide housing. The Fair Housing Act dictates the conditions under which you can run a background check.

Make sure that you have a legitimate reason to deny tenants if the background check findings come back with worrying results. For example, it is illegal to discriminate based on factors like age, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

Interpret the Results

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what to do with the background check results. A background check can reveal if someone will be a responsible tenant.

For instance, if they have a history of bankruptcy or eviction, then they may struggle with paying their rent on time. If they seem like the best tenants but only have one or two issues, it may be worth it to have a conversation, rather than denying them completely.

Successfully Complete a Tenant Background Check

Finding the best tenants through tenant screening should not be a complex process. This guide lets you complete the tenant background check quickly and get new residents into your property.

Would you like to learn more about real estate investing and property rentals? Take a look around our site or contact us today with any questions you may have.

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