Let’s look at some figures: In general, 28.5% of tenant applicants will have poor credit while 12.1% of tenant applicants will lie about their employment. In addition, almost 25% of landlords would not recommend a former tenant to another landlord. So is a background check necessary?
By definition, renting is a process of paying someone for the use of something, typically a property, a land, or a car. In this type of transaction, everyone is happy. The property owner gets the chance to earn from his unit and the tenant gets to use what he wants without having to purchase the whole thing, and thus save money, or try something new out before buying. This is the ideal scenario but one problem that property owners usually encounter is looking for the perfect tenant to fulfill this ideal role in the first place. Any property owner wants a tenant who pays on time, does not cause damage to the property, and does not cause much of a headache in terms of maintaining the unit. Background checking helps you find this perfect (or if not perfect, then the most suitable) tenant for your rental property.
Another thing you need to realize is that in having your property occupied, you are basically allowing a stranger to take possession of something that you own and everything else that it contains. Hence, you have to look into their background! Background checks may also identify an individual with a criminal history, who continues living a life of lawful offense. This type of individual can have a negative impact on a building and even an entire community.
There are services online where you can perform a background check instantly. However, this is somewhat burdensome as it just gives you tons of data that you may not interpret at all. You need to have a real person checking into your tenants and giving you an analysis of the data…not just a bunch of information on pages. Unless you are adept at deciphering that data.
What many really need is a property manager who will do all the background checking, screening, and interviewing for you. You can also get yourself involved in the process if you are the hands on type of person. There are some necessary pieces of information that you should be looking for, just in case you want to get involved in the background checking process, that is. These include: social security numbers, past addresses, current and past employment, names of co-applicants, income and financial references, criminal history, and military status.
It is definitely important to perform a background check as part of the tenant screening process. The question is how to do it properly? You should work hand in hand with your property manager so that you can identify the most suitable tenant. Look for all the necessary information that will help you screen between a good and a bad tenant. Finally, do realize that some tenants can be really devious, so be as in depth as possible that you don’t miss a single detail.