Tenant Screening Reports
Finding qualified and financially stable tenants in the COVID-19 crises has become very difficult. Tenant screening reports help landlords find the best tenant for their premises.
What Is a Tenant Screening Report?
A tenant screening report is the official result of a background check for a prospective tenant. It often includes the tenant’s history of eviction, criminal records, and previous addresses. Some screenings look at the tenant’s credit score. Others will include searching the sex offender registry, terrorist watch list, and nationwide and federal crime databases.
How Do I Obtain a Tenant Screening Report?
Many online businesses specialize in creating these reports. Landlords can go to their websites, fill out forms to request information, and pay a reasonable fee to obtain the report. However, the landlord must obtain the consent of the individual before requesting the screening.
How Long Does an Eviction Stay on a Tenant Screening Report?
In most states, an eviction will stay on a tenant’s report for seven years, unless he or she takes action to have the record expunged. Having an eviction expunged is not automatic and depends on a judge’s assessment of the circumstances surrounding the eviction, including any action the tenant may have taken to settle debts with the landlord.
What Is the Best Tenant Screening Service?
Consumer Credentials provides different tiers of information, including a custom package and social media check.
7 Warning Signs to Look for on Tenant Screening Reports
- Inconsistent or Insufficient Income: Some regulations require that tenants take on only a maximum monthly rent based on a percentage of their paycheck. But it is also prudent to take the regularity of the paycheck into consideration. A tenant might not be set up to budget well for long periods of irregular work.
- Unstable employment history: Related to the consistency of a tenant’s paycheck, frequent spells of unemployment can signify that the prospective tenant might have trouble keeping a job long enough to pay rent regularly. However, some gaps in employment, particularly in a challenging economy, can be easily explained.
- Low credit score: Bad debts in one area can lead to bad debts in others. Low credit scores are a risk in prospective tenants.
- Frequent moves: Just as unstable employment is a concern, tenants who move frequently might not be able to fulfill their contracts.
- Prior evictions: A record of evictions is a strong indicator that a tenant is likely to be evicted again.
- Criminal history: A landlord will want to be careful about renting to a tenant with a criminal record, however, it is important to look at the nature of the crimes, as well as how long ago they were recorded.
- Attempts to bypass the background check: Generally, someone who attempts to bypass a background check has something to hide. Likewise, some prospective tenants might offer a landlord a copy of their credit report, but the landlord would be unwise to rely on it in these circumstances.
Other related blogs on tenant screening reports:
- What Does Screening Your Potential Tenants Mean?
- What tenant screening criteria can a landlord legally use?
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