As a property manager getting people into your properties as soon as possible is the ultimate goal. However, before you rush into approving an applicant's paperwork, you must conduct a tenant criminal background check to ensure you've found the ideal tenant.
If you're unsure how to run background checks, you've come to the right place. We've got some tips for you that will increase the chances of you avoiding bad tenants altogether.
To find out how to get ready to conduct a tenant screening the right way, read on now.
Conduct a Full Credit Screening
A traditional credit screening only scrapes the surface and doesn't provide you with the in-depth information you're looking for. Instead, you must ensure you conduct a thorough and in-depth credit screen.
The reason for doing this is to receive more information about why a person's credit score is the way it is. For example, if someone has a 450 credit score, what is the reason for this?
Do they have past foreclosures or bankruptcies under their name? If so, these things might prove to be red flags and can keep you from entering a situation where you approve the application of a bad tenant.
The screening process can take longer depending on the information you're asking for, but it's better to be safe than sorry in the long run.
Search National Databases
One common mistake people make when conducting a criminal background check is only searching local databases, but this isn't going to provide the scope of information you need. Especially if someone hasn't lived in one place their entire lives.
Instead, you need to broaden your search and ensure it encompasses a national screening of the potential tenant's criminal background. While you've broadened your search, ensure you include that you want information on things like:
- Past eviction history
- Any misdemeanors or felonies in the tenant's past
A criminal background isn't reason enough to deny someone the ability to rent your property, but it should cause you to pause and consider how accepting their application can affect your property in the future.
Ask About Work History
Sometimes a person's work history can tell you everything you need to know about their past. For example, there might be gaps in someone's employment history that don't make sense.
If you don't ask why you might end up approving an application and allowing bad tenants to move onto your property.
We aren't saying everyone with a gap in work history also has a criminal background. But it's better to know the answers to these questions before you approve anyone's application.
When it comes to the screening process, it's better to be thorough and ask several questions instead of asking none at all.
Tips for a Tenant Criminal Background Check
When it comes to conducting a tenant criminal background check, there are several tips we've provided above that will help you conduct a better screening.
Take time to look into the supporting reasons for someone's credit score, and don't skimp on asking about a person's work history.
If you're looking to become a better property manager, check out the resources and contact Oklahoma Property Management today.