Tenant screening helps minimize the risk of renting to high-risk tenants and reduces the risk of rental income loss. It also gives you peace of mind in knowing that you are choosing applicants that are trustworthy, will pay their rent on time and treat your rental investment responsibly.
Conducting a tenant screening and background check which includes a consumer credit report, eviction record search, criminal background search and employment and income verification should be part of your due diligence for every applicant being considered for rent.
Credit checks provide a wealth of information about prospective tenants’ credit and financial history. They reveal if a person has had a history of debt, a high debt-to-income ratio and whether they have been able to pay their rent on time in the past.
While most landlords prefer not to run credit checks on all prospective tenants, this is one of the best ways to get a good sense of their financial situation. A credit check also helps you avoid renting to people who have a poor track record of paying their rent.
When running a credit check, be sure to only use reputable credit agencies to run the report. This will help to ensure that you are not inadvertently discriminating against a member of a protected group, such as a racial or ethnic minority.
A credit check can be conducted on a prospective tenant before or after you have accepted their application and will give you an idea of how they handle their money. It will also let you know if they have any outstanding bills that they will be responsible for in the event of late payments or other financial difficulties.
The credit report will indicate the applicant’s financial and employment history, confirm personal identification and list any pending court cases, bankruptcies, collections, late payments or delinquent accounts. The report will also indicate whether or not a previous landlord has reported the applicant to a credit agency and what the status of these reports are.
If the results of a credit check show that the applicant has poor credit, it is best to decline their application for rental purposes. This will allow you to meet your legal obligations and keep your property safe from potential squatters and fraudsters.
Landlords must comply with the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in collecting personal information from a prospective tenant. They can only collect this information if it is reasonable to evaluate suitability for a tenancy, and only with consent from the prospective tenant.
You should never rent to someone with bad credit unless you have received their specific consent in writing and you have verified their identity through other means. You must also mail an “Adverse Action” letter to the tenant stating why you have declined their application.
Employment verification is the process of confirming current or past employment information for various reasons, such as job applications, loan and mortgage applications, and other professional transactions. It involves searching databases, verifying documents and contacting a candidate’s previous employers by phone or email to confirm start and end dates of employment, job title(s) held and salary history.
Employers often receive requests for employment verification from potential new hires, government agencies, collection agencies, and mortgage lenders. These requests can be legitimate, though it is important to only provide truthful information based on state laws.
Typically, employers use their own employee records and databases for verification purposes, but there are also third-party companies that offer this service. These services are a great way to reduce the number of employee records that need to be accessed and sifted through.
For example, Tenant Verification Services Bc can help reduce the time and effort it takes to conduct employment verification by requesting the necessary information from your applicants and then completing the background check for you. This ensures that your hiring decisions are based on only accurate and vetted data.
The company also offers a full credit report and risk analysis to landlords, helping them determine whether the applicant will make timely rent payments. This provides property owners with peace of mind that they can approve a tenant.
Some companies will ask applicants to submit a pay stub for verification purposes, while others will need more detailed information. Lenders will require this information to determine whether you can afford the monthly payments on your loan, and immigration institutions will often require it to demonstrate your ability to support yourself financially before issuing visa papers.
Another method of employment verification is proof of employment letters or contracts. These can be issued on the employer’s letterhead and provide a reliable attestation of the applicant’s work history with the company in question.
These types of documentation are usually required when an applicant is applying for a loan or mortgage, so they are very useful. However, there are also some instances where an applicant may want to conceal information about their employment or past employer. This can be a dangerous situation for both parties involved.
Criminal Record Checks
Tenant background checks are an important part of the rental screening process. They provide information about an applicant’s criminal history, including whether or not they are on government watchlists and if they have ever been evicted. The results of a criminal record check are typically confidential, so they must be disclosed only to people involved in the rental process.
In addition to providing criminal background information, a rental background check also provides information about the applicant’s current and previous address. This can be useful for verifying the applicant’s identity, as well as preventing theft or other fraud.
Many landlords rely on rental background checks as a way to identify potential problem tenants before they rent out their property. These include violent offenders, people with a criminal history or those who have committed a crime against someone else.
These types of tenants can damage the property, or even cause injury or death to others. Moreover, they may cost the landlord money in repairs and maintenance.
It is important for landlords to understand their legal obligations when it comes to denying or renting to people with criminal backgrounds. They must follow fair housing laws, as well as HUD guidelines, in order to ensure they are not committing discrimination.
Landlords should also consider if a person is in treatment for a crime that they have committed or is actively working to improve their life. A drug rehab program, alcoholism anonymous or a faith-based organization are all good indicators that a person is looking to change their life and move away from a past crime.
Depending on the state, landlords can be held liable for criminal activity by their tenants, so it is important to use a reliable service that can help you find out if an applicant has committed a crime.
The best rental background check services will have a number of different options that you can choose from to conduct your checks. These include an SSN trace, an eviction search, a sex offender search and more.
In addition to a background check, a landlord can run a credit check on an applicant as well. This can give them a better idea of their financial situation, and they may be able to decide if the applicant will fit into their budget.
Reference checks are a great way to verify information provided by prospective tenants on their rental application. They are a must-have when you’re trying to determine if a potential tenant is legitimate, and they can help you save time, money and headaches down the line.
Landlords who do thorough reference checks can often quickly spot red flags, which may save you the hassle and expense of repairing damages or losing rent in the future. The extra effort is well worth it, especially when the result can be a happy landlord-tenant relationship!
A good North Vancouver property manager will ensure that references are checked before approving any tenant. This includes asking for past landlord references as well as employment references. These will give you a good idea of how the tenant has treated previous tenants and what they might expect in terms of service from them.
In addition to these checks, you can also check up on a tenant’s social media profiles. Many tenants will have their personal profiles on popular websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This is a great way to get an insight into a person’s personality and how they spend their spare time.
Another good tip is to cross-reference the details of a person’s social media accounts with the information they have provided on their rental application. For example, if the tenant says that they work at a specific company, you should see the same name on their social media profile.
As a landlord, it’s important to be confident in your decisions, and this is one of the most critical steps you can take. If you’re not completely certain that a prospective tenant is legitimate, it’s best to pass them on and move on to the next person.
It’s also a good idea to request to see a prospective tenant’s ID before signing any lease paperwork. This will give you the assurance that the identity is the same as the one they used to fill out their application.
You can order a credit report for a fee through an online service like Equifax or TransUnion. While it isn’t a perfect solution, this can give you an idea of whether a person has paid their bills on time and will be a reliable tenant. Just be careful to not rely solely on a credit report, as this is not always accurate and scam artists often falsify this information.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.