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Tenants' background check by a Landlord. What to do and

Customer Question
how to do it? I...
Tenants' background check by a Landlord. What to do and how to do it? I own a rental property and want to check on potential tenants' background- financial, criminal, credit, etc. What info should I ask?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
12/13/2015
Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago
Christopher B, Esq
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 3,011
Experience: Litigation Attorney
Verified

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

First, require all prospective tenants to fill in a rental application form. This form will provide you with the necessary information to carry out a background and credit check. Ask for current contact details, the names and addresses of current and previous landlords and employers, social security number, driver's license number and bank account numbers for credit check.

Second, include a credit report authorization form with the rental application. Section 604 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that landlords ask permission before running a credit check. Of course, a landlord can deny a consumer the ability to rent if he or she does not wish to authorize a credit check. Landlords, not the credit reporting agency, are responsible for requesting and recording credit check authorizations.

Third, run a credit report for your applicants with all three main credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Credit reports will tell you about your prospective tenant's credit history: foreclosures, bankruptcies, unlawful detainer lawsuits, evictions and other credit-related public record events. They will also provide you with a credit score for each applicant. The credit score rates the financial reliability of the consumer; the higher the score the better.

Fourth, hire a tenant screening company to carry out a background check on your applicants. A background check can include a state and national criminal report, a sex offender database search and prior address history verification. Tenant backround checks can cost anything from $20 to $50, depending on the thoroughness of the investigation.

Fifth, contact your applicant's current and previous landlords to ask for references. Call the current employer to confirm income, and question other references to make sure the information provided on the application form is correct.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thanks. Do you have a sample Tenant Application I can use? Also, a sample credit report authorization form?
Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago

There are plenty of sample resources out there. Usalegalforms.com has some for a slight fee. I am out and about and answering from my phone and don't have any available at this point.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

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Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago

Just following up, do you have any further questions?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Which website do you recommend for Crim check?
Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago

First I would take your state's website and do any searches by name to see any charges. There are sites such as http://www.criminalcheck.com/ and http://www.criminalsearches.com/ that charge a fee for this but I do not have much experience with these sites. I would look at any social media you can find on the person and look at your states court website for information which is free and easy. If some red flags pop up, you can look into some of the pay sites.

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Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago

I see you reviewed my answer, please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic. I want you to be satisfied so I will continue to answer any questions you may have and I thank you in advance for completing this extra step as it will not cost you any additional money.

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Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago

Any chance for a positive rating?

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Christopher B, Esq
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