Property Managers: Reduce Your Risk By Screening Your Tenants

There are jobs associated with risk. For example – police, firefighter, and astronaut. Police catch criminals on the run. Firefighters endure intense flames to battle blazes. Astronauts encounter rough conditions in outer space. Unfortunately, risk is part of their job. Property managers and owners of rental properties also face risk, however, unlike many other jobs, this can be drastically mitigated by following simple guidelines.
The largest risk a Property manager or landlord’s face is the unknown of a new prospective renter. Many may let a prospective renter live in an apartment without screening them properly. That renter may turn out to be the ideal resident, with no criminal history and no incident reports, but you are running a risk by not screening them that they may be something entirely different.

By running a comprehensive tenant screening report that includes a credit check, a criminal background check, an evictions, liens and judgments search, a rental history database search and an SSN/ID verification check, a manager or landlord can drastically reduce the risk of renting to a problematic tenant. The credit check will let a manager/landlord know if the person has been responsible with their debt payments; however, it typically will not have information on previous rental history. This is why we recommend an evictions liens and judgments search, this search will pull up possible past evictions and judgments for possession against a tenant. Again, this still only gives a partial picture. If you have access to a rental history database that keeps track of late payments, crime on the property, damage to the property, or illegal sublets, that will give you as full a picture of the potential tenant as possible.

So, you’ve run these reports, you may be asking yourself, why do I need an SSN/ID verification report. Unfortunately in this day and age identity theft is on the rise, and someone who has a past criminal history or one with evictions may look to hide it by using someone else’s social security number or ID.

Lastly, call, call, call…. Call the previous landlord(s), ask them if they would rent again, to them. Get job verifications in writing from the HR department, don’t just call their manager (who may be a friend) to verify income and/or job.

Don’t take a gamble with your tenants. By following these simple steps a manager/landlord can mitigate loss risk, sometimes into the tens of thousands of dollars that they may incur by having to evict someone for either non-payment of rent, or for damage to the property, and reduce the risk of losing a good tenant because you moved a bad one in right next to them.

To get a “risk-free” quote, head on over to our tenant screening page.

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