If you’re a landlord or a property manager, you should run both credit and criminal background checks on your prospective tenants. To forego doing background checks is simply inviting trouble.
Getting a detailed report disclosing the tenant’s credit score, criminal records, eviction history and more is the smartest way to make an informed decision about who you select to be your tenants. Make it a priority and you will decrease your potential risk and future liability.
Because of federal housing laws, a landlord cannot discriminate against an applicant based on race, religion, sex, family or marital status, age, disability or national origin. When you have a reliable tenant screening service, your chances of discrimination issues are reduced. Tenant screening helps you through any claims should they arise by clarifying objective reasons with clear transparency of the screening process.
You can eliminate the hassle of time-consuming paperwork if you have a professional tenant screening service in place. They will provide quick, current information about the prospective tenant so that you can make a smart decision without worry. In the long-run, you will be saving both time and money.
If you already have tenants residing on your property, they should be able to enjoy the surroundings without abusive, unruly tenants who don’t play by the rules. While it can be a prolonged and costly process to evict abusive tenants, if they are infringing on the rights of current tenants or causing neighborhood disruption, it could be well worth it.
Some final reminders that will help you form better landlord/tenant relationships.
- Always perform a background check on all prospective tenants who will be residing at one residence. If they do not have a social security card, don’t rent to them, as you need that to do a credit check. Be cautious of people who want to move in immediately.
- Be aware that tenants with low credit scores may be riskier, as they have less to lose. If they have limited income, they may look for roommates to help pay, with or without knowing it is a lease violation to do so unless disclosed up front.
- When a tenant has a criminal record, look at the original charges rather than the conviction charge. You might want to consider a month-to-month lease and a larger deposit in such cases.
All of the fuss and worry that goes along with being a landlord can be diminished if you select a reliable full-service property management company like Cousin James Management to manage it all for you.