When you invest in rental properties, the only thing on your mind is finding tenants to move in. However, before you allow people to move in, you need to take some time to perform a tenant criminal background check.
The background check will let you know if there's anything in the tenant's past that you should be aware of. Or if there are red flags that would lead you to decide not to rent your property to that particular tenant.
Read our guide and learn how to perform a tenant criminal background check and get the answers you need before printing a lease.
Receive Potential Tenant Consent
The first step in completing a tenant background check is receiving consent from the potential tenant before conducting the background check. Before any company runs the background check, you must provide proof of consent first because if you don't, what you're doing is considered illegal.
You can create a separate document that requests consent or build it into the lease for the tenant. From there, you will need to have the tenant provide you with the personal information.
Obtain Tenant Information
The information you collect from the tenant will be used to conduct the tenant evaluation. You will need to have their:
- Full name
- Social security number
For some property managers, it's easier to offer an electronic protected portal for tenants to fill out to make them feel safer about sharing their information with you.
Choose the Right Background Service
After you obtain all the information you need, the next step is to find a service to conduct the background check. Ensure the service you select is quality and create a list of your options.
From there, you can compare and contrast the platforms to ensure it has the services you need.
Detail Payment to Tenants
Most platforms will require you to pay a fee to use their background check services. Therefore, you need to ensure you speak to the tenant about the cost of covering the criminal background check.
You need to determine if you're going to cover the background check cost or if the tenant will. It also helps if you understand the laws in your area when it pertains to your tenants.
Understanding the law ahead of time will ensure you don't do anything illegal that could jeopardize your tenant leasing agreement or your career as a property manager and investor.
Conducting a Tenant Criminal Background Check
When you conduct a tenant criminal background check, there are several steps you need to take before it can be processed. The first and most crucial step is to obtain consent from the tenant to run the check.
After that, you need to determine how the background check will be paid for and find a platform that can run it for you. Are you looking for a company that can help you with your work as a property manager?