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What to Look for When Performing a Tenant Background Check

What to Look for When Performing a Tenant Background Check

Picture this: you've got a rental property that's been empty for far too long. You finally find a potential tenant who seems great on paper. But before you hand over the keys, it's time to dive deep into the world of tenant background checks.

How do you make sure you're not missing major red flags? We can help.

Read on to learn what to watch out for when doing a tenant background check.

Credit Score

When you're looking at tenant screening, you'll need to start with the credit score. Familiarize yourself with the credit score ranges and what they signify. Generally, credit scores above 700 are thought to be good, while scores below 600 may indicate potential financial challenges.

Check the tenant's credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit they're using compared to their total available credit. High utilization may indicate financial strain.

Consider how long the tenant has had credit accounts open. A longer credit history with consistent, positive behavior is typically favorable.

Criminal History

Conduct a comprehensive criminal record search. This should include county, state, and federal databases to ensure a thorough check.

Pay attention to the types of offenses listed in the criminal record. Serious offenses like violent crimes or drug-related charges may pose a higher risk to property and other tenants.

Consider whether the tenant has shown signs of rehabilitation or has mitigating factors, such as completing a rehabilitation program or maintaining a clean record for a significant period after a past offense.

Employment History

Verify the tenant's current employment status, including their job title, duration of employment, and income level. Contacting the employer directly or requesting recent pay stubs can help confirm these details.

Look for a proper employment history with a steady income. Long-term employment or a history of job stability can indicate reliability in meeting financial obligations.

If you're having trouble, look into hiring property management services in your area.

Prior Evictions

Obtain eviction records from relevant sources such as county court records, landlord-tenant court databases, or specialized tenant screening services. Look for any past evictions filed against the tenant.

Reach out to previous landlords or property managers to gather more information about the eviction incidents. Ask about the circumstances leading to the evictions and how they were handled.

Personal References

Verify the relationship between the reference and the tenant. Personal references could include former landlords, employers, colleagues, friends, or family members who can provide relevant information about the tenant.

Seek feedback on the tenant's overall conduct, behavior, and interactions with others. Consider factors such as cleanliness, pet ownership (if applicable), noise levels, and adherence to community rules.

Consider the duration of the relationship between the reference and the tenant. Longer relationships may provide more comprehensive insights into the tenant's character and behavior over time.

Tenant Background Checks: Now You Know

There's a lot to watch out for when you're doing a tenant background check. Now that you know some of the major factors, you can find the perfect clients for your property.

Are you looking for property management help in Summerville? Oak Trust Properties is here for you. Our family-owned team is dedicated to helping the Lowcountry become the best it can be.

Contact us today.