Should You Be Running Background Checks On All Prospective Tenants?

Prospective Tenants

Learn more about why background checks are important when considering prospective tenants 

As long time property management professionals, one of the top mistakes we’ve seen owners make over the years is not running background checks on their prospective tenants. This typically happens because it’s easy for an owner to get busy or they are in a hurry to get their single family home, condo or town home rented and not running a background check will come back haunt them later on.

Why Proper Screening Is Needed

In today’s world proper screening of prospective tenants is needed because, it will bring to light potential issues that a tenant could have including if they have a criminal background, are a sex offender, are unemployed or have poor credit.

Background checks can literally save the average owner thousands of dollars per year because, they will save and landlord the time, money and hassle of renting to their rental properties to the wrong tenants, plus the headache of having to evict those tenants if it’s needed.

Professional background checks are an asset to every property owner especially for these reasons:

  1. They help the landlord to identify “Professional Tenants” or individuals who chronically stop paying their rent wherever they are renting, cite poor living conditions and are known to tie up legal cases in court for months at a time while they don’t pay their rent.
  2. Professional background checks identify false information that a prospective tenant may fill out during the application process. This false information may include false job history and false addresses.
  3. A background check also catches false identities and puts the responsibility on the tenant to prove that they are who they say that they are, or risk the owner not renting to them.

About Tenant Screening

The tenant screening process typically begins when the prospective tenant (each adult applicant) completes a rental application, pays an application fee and perhaps a holding deposit.

Rental applications are designed to collect personally identifying information (name, social security number and date of birth, etc.), address, employment, criminal and eviction history. A signature is generally required, attesting to the accuracy of information provided, agreeing to certain terms and conditions and authorizing procurement of a tenant screening report.

Valid government issued photo identification is typically required to confirm the identity of applicants and in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) identity theft Red Flags Rule.

Most landlords rely on a tenant screening company to produce a tenant screening report – to compile relevant credit, public records and other information needed to adequately vet prospective tenants. Information gleaned from the application, tenant screening report and the landlord’s own research is used to arrive at a decision based on landlord’s rental criteria.

Applicant initiated tenant screening services are beginning to emerge. Under this model, applicants order reports on themselves and grant access to prospective landlords.

Do a Full Background Check

If you’re getting ready to rent out one of your Portland Oregon Rental Properties you need to do a full background check on Prospective Tenants which includes: credit, employment, criminal and sex offender checks because thanks to recent statistics we know that most owners or landlords only run criminal checks or sex offender checks without running a full background check on their tenants.

As the owner of a multi-family rental property it’s your responsibility to confirm the safety and security of all tenants in your building and you can do this by running a complete background check on all prospective tenants before you choose to rent to them.

Establish Guidelines for Running Background Checks

You know that a thorough background check will save you the time, money and hassle of renting to the wrong tenants but it’s also important to establish guidelines for background checks because thanks to Fair Housing Laws every landlord must follow the law when investigating a prospective renters background.

Before requiring mandatory background checks on all prospective tenants make sure you do the following:

  • Train all employees in your organization on how to do background checks and make sure that they know background checks are mandatory.
  • Create guidelines for background checks and make sure that they are followed.
  • Confirm with your employees that criminal background and sex offender checks are to be completed without exceptions.
  • Verify Fair Housing Laws to make sure that your background checks are not discriminating against a tenant because they may have done time in the past.

What Can You Expect From A Tenant Background Check?

During the process of doing a tenant background check you can expect to receive the following information:

  • Validation of their SSN
  • Lawsuits or evictions they may have had in the past.
  • Judgements or liens
  • Bankruptcies
  • Criminal records
  • Possible sex offender status

What Can You Expect From A Tenant Credit Search?

When doing a credit search on a prospective tenant you can expect to receive the following information including their credit report, FICO score, judgments, collections and bankruptcies that they may have had in the past.

Save Time and Money with Property Management

If you’re a busy landlord like most owners are one of the best things you can do to make sure that the most qualified tenants are chosen for your rental properties every time is to hire a professional property management company.

At Property Management Systems we specialize in professional property management and can assist you in all of your property management needs including background checks.

Property Management Systems is one of the top Residential Property Management firms in the Portland area marketplace!

The time and effort involved in running and maintaining a rental property can quickly become overwhelming. Sometimes you only need help in filling a vacancy, or the thought of being “invisible” to the tenant’s appeals to others.

Property Management Systems is a Professional Property Management Company that specializes in the management of single family homes, small multiplex units, and large apartment communities throughout Portland, Oregon.

Our State licensed and accredited property managers have heightened expertise and industry knowledge to assist them in doing the best possible job for you. They are real estate professionals who know first-hand the unique challenges of managing Portland Oregon rental property in today’s constantly changing economic and legislative environment and they know how to manage those challenges to everyone’s benefit.

Property Management Systems can maximize rents and income for you; and we will manage the property efficiently, professionally and economically.

Get Portland Oregon Property Management

Learn more about prospective tenants or the benefits Property Management Services can offer you by calling us at (503) 515-3170 or click here to connect with us online.



console.log('The end of the script");
+ +