Why should you screen tenants?
Tenant screening is a risk management process for landlords. The reports help the landlord manage financial risk by reviewing credit information, thereby making a determination that the prospect will be able to afford and make rent payments. The reports help the landlord exercise due diligence as to whether or not the prospect has a criminal record. Landlords reduce the likelihood of endangering themselves or their other tenants.
What is a tenant screening report?
Tenant screening reports are Consumer Reports as defined by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. They are compiled from a number of different private and public information repositories. A variety of criminal and civil records can be searched in order to establish the prospect’s background. National and local criminal data bases, sex offender registries, official government watch lists and civil records relating to evictions supplement the credit information. Checking prior rental and employment references may also be included.
What criminal and civil search options are available?
The most common searches included in a tenant screening report include one or more of the following criminal and civil data base and public repositories:
- A proprietary national data base of criminal records
- The court indexes in the county and/or state of residence
- State and national Sex Offender Registries
- Government Watch Lists (i.e. OFAC)
- A proprietary national data base of civil eviction and landlord litigation
More thorough searching of local, state and national criminal and civil records are available and can be included in the report.
How long does it take to obtain a tenant screening report?
Reports, including those with more thorough criminal and civil searches, in most instances are available within twenty-four to seventy-two hours after the necessary prospect’s information is received.
Payment Options Our on-line system supports payment by the landlord, by the prospect or a combination. Landlord fees can be billed monthly under certain conditions. Payments by prospects are collected on-line via major credit card during the Tenant Invite process.