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Why Landlords Should Always Require a Tenant Background Check

Posted by sonrise on February 20, 2023
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Any time you allow a person to rent your property, you’re opening yourself up to some potential headaches. Most tenants will never give you any trouble, but landlords who have had to deal with late rent payments, noise complaints, and other issues know that it only takes one troublemaker to make life challenging. Thorough screening, which includes a comprehensive tenant background check, is one of the most important steps landlords can take to ensure a safe and hassle-free renting experience. Here’s why landlords should always require a tenant background check.

Why Landlords Should Always Require a Tenant Background Check

  1. It will confirm their identity.
    It might sound crazy, but people lie about their identity more often than you might think, and in ways that might surprise you. Tenant screening should include identity verification and a Social Security Number check to establish that the individual is being honest about their name, age, current address, and other identifying information.
  2. It will paint a picture of their financial history.
    A complete background check includes a credit report, which will give you a good idea of a prospective tenant’s financial situation. And while a credit report should not be seen as the sole indicator of a person’s reliability, it will give you a general sense of whether they’re someone who pays their bills on time.
  3. It will let you know if a tenant is dangerous.
    Background checks include information on an individual’s criminal history. Landlords should be cautious about relying too heavily on this information (it would be a mistake to eliminate all prospective tenants simply because they have a criminal record). Still, if someone has committed a violent crime or is on a registered sex offender registry, that’s something landlords should know about.
  4. You’ll discover their rental history. 
    One thing you’ll definitely want to know is how a tenant’s prior landlords view them. A thorough background check includes rental and eviction history, so you should be able to get a fairly complete picture of what type of tenant the person is. That being said, there may be more to the story than meets the eye, so don’t write off a prospective tenant just because they have a single eviction somewhere in their past.
  5. It can reduce tenant turnover. 
    Every day a rental unit sits vacant is a day you’re not getting paid rent, so one of the top priorities for landlords is filling units with long-term tenants. Tenant screening is one of the best tools to ensure that each individual you rent to is stable and reliable, and someone who will not break the terms of their lease and leave early.
  6. You’ll learn about their professional and employment history. 
    A background check should include information about where the individual has worked, and for how long. This can be useful information, but don’t be too quick to assume that only tenants who have stayed at a single job for a long time are reliable. Given the prevalence of the gig economy in recent times, many excellent tenants may be self-employed or have non-traditional work histories.
  7. It benefits your existing tenants. 
    A harmonious rental property is key to keeping long-term renters. So don’t just consider the tenant you’re about to get; think about the tenants you already have. Screening can help you avoid taking on a new renter who will cause conflicts or complaints with existing tenants.

Tenant background checks are essential for landlords, but you don’t have to go it alone. Professional property management companies offer all the resources you need to thoroughly screen every tenant without hassles or headaches.

Contact us today to learn more about the advantages of professional property management.

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