Credit and Background Checks

I have quite a mix of tenants.  Some fall into the low-income category, others are in the middle or upper-middle category … so, is it worth doing credit and background checks on all of them when they apply?  Definitely not.

Many of my lower-end tenants have shaky credit or no credit.  Doing credit checks would be a waste of time and money.   And actually, no credit isn’t necessarily a bad thing!  Some have little or no debt, no credit cards, and buy things only when they have the cash.  My application is detailed, and I check on their current and past employment, the current living situation, references, and make a decision based on those items.

Now, for higher-end applicants, credit checks may help in the decision-making.  People who have a lot of debt and outstanding bills may struggle to pay the rent.  Third party companies like National Tenant Network are available to those who want to check criminal records, credit scores, past rental history, and even terrorist activity.  I’ve used them several times and it’s essential to have the person’s birth date, full name, SS number and current address.  Each full report costs about $20.

Within seconds, your report comes back.  Easy!  So if you need additional help in finding and keeping great tenants, use background checks as an additional tool to help you in the process.

Onward and upward …. 🙂

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