The process of obtaining a tenant screening report is often among the most dreaded aspects of filling a vacancy. This is often because landlords may be confused about what they should include in the report. While the process may be somewhat confusing, failing to obtain a tenant screening report can lead to a number of problems, including an unreliable tenant or even one who causes damage to your property. It is simply not worth taking the risk to avoid obtaining the report you need to make a decision about approving an applicant. Below are some tips to assist you in understanding what you should include in a report when screening prospective tenants.
A credit score is typically considered a necessity for tenant screening reports, but it is important to think about what you will do with this type of information. For instance, if you obtain an applicant's credit score, what will the threshold be for approval? It is imperative that you have an answer to this question in mind in order for that information to be useful to you in making an approval decision.
Additionally, you need to include a credit report and a background check. The type of information contained in such reports can prove to be highly beneficial in helping you to make a decision regarding whether or not you will approve an applicant. For instance, if you discover that an applicant has a history of writing bad checks, this might cause you to reconsider approving that applicant.
In considering a criminal background check as part of the tenant screening process, it is also important to consider whether the background check is only for the state in which your property is located or whether it is a multi-state background check. Remember that just because an applicant does not have a criminal background in the state in which you operate, that does not mean that they are completely clean. They could easily have had problems in other states, and if that is the case, then you need to know about in order to make an informed approval decision.
You should also make sure that your tenant screening report includes an employment verification. In the process of verifying employment, you need to make certain that the applicant actually has a job and that they really do work where they claim to work.
Eviction history should also be considered as part of the tenant screening process. Along with discovering whether the applicant has ever been evicted, you also need to find out whether there is a history of landlord-tenant suits because some suits may not include eviction.
Obtaining a tenant screening report is a vital element in ensuring that you find the right tenant for your property and ensure that your investment is protected. A tenant screening report is only as good as the information contained in the report, however. To learn more about what should be included in a comprehensive tenant screening report, contact VerticalRent.