Tenant Alert: Tenant Screening Made Easy

Ask any experienced landlord, and they'll tell you the key ingredient for profitable rental properties is screening tenants.

Problem tenants cost money -- more than you may realize. An eviction alone may cost more than $3,000. Damage to the property and lost rent only add to the losses. Simply by running an automated renter background check, you can identify rental applicants at risk for being problem tenants.

At the same time, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your favorite rental candidate has a clean record, and that you have done what you need to do to protect yourself from being victimized by a bad tenant.

Tenant credit checks are a seminal part of a thorough tenant background check.

What Will a Credit Report Reveal?

  • Landlords rely on a tenant credit check to reveal an applicant's ability to manage their debts. A high score shows a tenant who will take their rent obligation seriously.
  • Discrepancies between the tenant check and the rental application can betray an applicant who is not telling the truth about their qualifications.
  • By reviewing the credit report, a landlord can determine if the applicant is overburdened with debt and a bad risk for paying rent on time each month.

Tenant Alert makes it as easy as possible to check tenant credit. By offering a variety of options, Tenant Alert has a plan that will suit your needs. No membership is required. That's what makes Tenant Alert the best tenant screening service.

Click here for tips on how you can get the most from your tenant check.

Why Run Renter Background Checks?

It's always tempting to go with your instincts when it comes to choosing tenants. After all, no one knows better than you what you are looking for in a tenant. But if you are serious about your profits, there is nothing more risky than leaving it to chance.

That's because instincts are not always correct, and dishonest tenants are very good at deception. The results can be catastrophic.

Just take a look at this example: Tenant Screening Horror Story: Meet Mr. Perfect

Landlords have an obligation to screen tenants using the standards in their industry, like the reports you will find at Tenant Alert, because:

  1. Evicting a bad tenant is expensive and can take months, while the property is not producing. Eviction requires a court procedure, even in cases where the tenant is not paying rent, is damaging the property, or turns out to be a sex offender or terrorist.

  2. Renting to a tenant with a bad history increases the chances of default, and creates legal liability in cases where the tenant is at risk for harming others.

  3. Good tenants won't stay in a building if their neighbors are deadbeats. Pretty soon, all the good tenants you worked hard to attract will be gone, and the property will soon lose value.

Tenant Screening Tip: Run a renter background check on every applicant. If you only screen some tenants and not others, it is going to look like you choose your tenants based on their physical characteristics, and that can lead to a costly discrimination claim.

Do You Know How to Spot a Bad Tenant?

Tenant screening reports are more valuable if you know what to look for -- and what to avoid. Read our screening tips.

How Do I Know Which Tenant Screening Package is Right for Me?

Only you can decide who the right tenant is for you, and for your property. But Tenant Alert can guide that decision, by pointing out candidates with serious flaws in their credit history, criminal background or eviction history. You have to decide what you would like to know about the candidate. Do you want to know that your soon-to-be tenant has bounced checks? Are you interested in knowing that they were evicted two years ago for not paying rent? For damaging the property?

The more information you have, the better your chances of catching a problem applicant before they become your tenant from hell. Because the cost of a renter background check is passed on to the applicant, you can choose the package that gives you the information you need to determine if this applicant is right for you.

For more, see Understanding Tenant Screening Reports.

What is the Fastest Way to Get Credit Checks?

Speed is always an issue when it comes to tenant checks, and the experts at Tenant Alert understand that. That's why we offer two different options when it comes to running credit reports.

Because releasing tenant credit is regulated by the government, landlords have to qualify in order to get access to the information. Our first option is for the landlord to register to receive these reports on a regular basis. This is a good option for landlords who fill vacancies frequently throughout the year, like landlords who own multiple properties or who offer short-term rentals.

But if you don't wish to register, you can still receive instantaneous credit reports using Tenant Alert. We offer a second option where the tenant simply authorizes the release of the credit check, and the information is then sent directly to the landlord.

Either way, you receive the information that you need to evaluate your applicant as quickly as possible.

Screening tenants is a combination of science and art. The more you do it, the better you will become at catching problem applicants before they have a chance to steal your profits.

Still, it's helpful to learn from other landlords and avoid common tenant screening mistakes.