Tenant Background Checks: A Landlords Most Customary of Procedures

If you’re not doing it yourself, who exactly have you entrusted with the task of running checks on the credit reports of your potential tenants? Such a weighty matter is not really something to take lightly. No one can doubt that the proper screening of tenants is the only way to guard against unwarranted risks to real estate property and to the comfort of other, exemplary credit-wise, tenants. As a business person with a mind that is not supremely suited, to say the least, to stresses that come with taking on undue risks, you should, by now, be more than a little bit briefed on the unbelievable capabilities of the many tools that are available to you — some even at your very finger tips — for conducting a thorough tenant screening of every person that applies for a space inside your property building.

As a building owner, to accept someone as an occupant of your building means confiding in the hands of said person the integrity and good standing of your built-structure.

Yet, that person is more likely than not to be a complete stranger. Of course, the payoff for taking such a risk includes the profits to be had through rent payments. Even then, for the profits to materialize, tenants must make their payments on time. Screening prospective inhabitants is one way to minimize the risk of taking in someone who will not pay the rent on dates accorded. That’s why investing in a good tenant credit check each time you face an applicant is so vital. As the landlord, you are the most invested in the financial soundness and good character of the people that end up taking residence in your complex.

However, you are not the only one with a mind to run background checks on those who come into close contact with your valuable property, or with your family. If you are not yourself running regular credit checks on your tenants, it might be the tenants themselves that are conducting background investigations on each other. With the easy availability of the massive troves of public information that are found online, a criminal background search can quickly be executed by an info-savvy, or simply hyper-vigilant, occupant. Tenant background checks are so basic that if you’re not running them, your tenants most certainly are.

Sam Walters is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her writing appears in print and online.

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