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Tenant Background Checks: Quick Tips on Tenant Bank Accounts

ChecklistA prospective tenant that does not have a checking account is a red flag.

An adult without a checking account is probably a very high risk tenant. They either could not get an account due to improper identification or their account was closed by the bank for bouncing too many checks.

In either case, landlords beware!

Assuming your prospective tenant has a bank account, check it out:

  • Call the bank to confirm the funds are available and ask for an account rating. Most banks will indicate when the account was opened, the range of their average balance and verify whether or not the check they have given you is good. Do not let the tenant move in until you have obtained this information.
  • The information provided is perfect for cross-checking against other information the prospective tenant provided. Are the names and addresses on the check consistent with all of the other information provided?
  • If a photocopy machine is not available, write the bank name, address, and account number on to the application.
  • If the name on the check happens to be someone other than your prospective tenant, ask questions.  Is it a prospective roommate?  A parent helping out?  If so, this may indicate the need for a co-signer.
  • The existence of a bank account is an indication of stability and responsibility.  It is also an indication of where to go to levy money in the event the tenant gets evicted for defaulting on the rent. 
  • Confirm the bank account information each month when the  rent is paid. Copy each rent check, and look for changes.  This will ensure that your records are always kept current and will flag a possible change in responsible parties or a tenant in trouble.

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