Screen Prospective Tenants With a Rental History Report
It’s imperative that landlords, property managers and homeowners obtain a comprehensive rental history of every adult applicant to determine the best-qualified rental applicants. You can no longer accept the word of an applicant claiming to have a blemish-free rental history. Instead, a rental history report can give you confirmed information for peace of mind as you sort through potential tenants.
In these days of savvy scammers, you want to protect your reputation and investment in your rental properties. One of the most important means of doing so is by obtaining a full rental history report on every adult, including co-applicants.
Why is a comprehensive rental history report important?
A rental history report is critical for any landlord or property manager who wants to ensure they find an ideal tenant for their rental property — and avoid worst-case scenarios, such as late payments or an eviction.
Combing through rental applications can seem like a daunting task, but a rental history report helps streamline the process. All of the information included can be used to verify that you’re considering a prospective tenant who will more likely treat your property with respect and pay on time based on their history.
At the end of the day, your main goal as a landlord is to protect your property and maintain a profitable bottom line. A flakey or irresponsible renter can ultimately hurt your return on investment and cause you more headaches than necessary. Whether a tenant has bad credit or good credit, a rental history report fills the gaps that a credit check report or background check may not cover.
What does a rental background check consist of?
A rental history report reveals more than a credit score can show. It includes the tenant’s previous addresses, late rental payment records and eviction history. All of these details create a fuller picture of the kind of tenant each applicant may be.
There’s no need to cut corners on the rent history screening. This is because the cost of the comprehensive rental history report is often passed on to the applicant. If your applicant honestly wants to rent your property as their home, the prospective tenant should not object to paying for the rental history screening. Below are all AAOA rental history packages, which all include consumer credit reports:
TeleCheck Check Verification – Avoid renting to applicants with a history of tendering bad checks when you include the TeleCheck verification as part of your rental history report. Discover whether your applicant writes bad checks, demonstrating a pattern of reckless financial behavior.
Eviction History – The credit report only provides information on whether the applicant demonstrates a pattern of paying bills on time. It provides no information on an applicant’s eviction history. It is imperative to include the eviction history report in every rental history screening package. Avoid renting to applicants who go from one rental property to another, hoping the landlord will not discover their eviction record.
Criminal History – Conducting a criminal history search is crucial to every rental history report. Criminals often use rental properties to hide from authorities or to conduct their criminal activities. The only way you can discover if the applicant has a criminal background is to include it in your rental history package. Protect your investment in your rental properties and your other tenants from criminals hoping to move into one of your rental properties. You have the option to obtain criminal history results on a state-specific or national level.
Terrorist and sex offender – The terrorist and sex offender records check searches federal databases to determine if your applicant is a terrorist or sex offender. Protect your reputation as a landlord who only rents to highly-qualified applicants when you include the terrorist and sex offender searches in every rental history report package.
Social Security Number Fraud Check– Identity theft is on the rise so landlords have to take extreme caution when verifying the identity of every adult applicant. One of the best ways to catch an identity thief is to include the social security number fraud check every time you conduct a rental history check. Learn whether the social security number given by the applicant matches the name on file for that social security number. Cross-reference other information given by your applicant to see if it matches the information provided in the results of the social security number fraud check.
Why should you choose AAOA?
The American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA) is the largest landlord association in the country. We recognize the needs of landlords who do not want their rental properties sitting empty, yet do not want to hand over the keys to the first applicant who comes along.
AAOA also understands that conducting a comprehensive rental history check is crucial and that getting results without a long wait is important. Credit reporting agencies often keep you waiting. First, to demand that you provide verification that the rental applicant authorized the release of his or her credit report information to you. Then they keep you waiting again until they decide to provide you with the credit report on your applicant. Avoid the long wait by trusting AAOA for all your rental history needs.
The rental history report we provide on each of your applicants is often in real-time and contains the most up-to-date information. You only have to wait for the results of the credit report, which are processed quickly for you. Your applicant simply responds to our email to verify his or her identity. Then the applicant verifies authorizing the credit report portion of the rental history check.
What if a tenant doesn’t have a rental history?
If you’re renting in a city or location with many students and young adults, you may be more likely to come across applicants that don’t have a rental history. In this case, you won’t be able to check a rental history report — and they might not even have a credit history.
This doesn’t automatically eliminate the person as a potential tenant. Instead, you should verify other provided details to determine whether they’re the right tenant for you.
If they have a co-signer willing to vouch for their ability to pay rent, you can run a rental history report on that person instead. This can help you ensure that you’re doing your due diligence as a landlord to find a great tenant.
What other landlord resources, forms and reports are available?
The American Apartment Owners Association takes pride in providing the most recent information available every time you order your rental history packages. Every package features easy-to-access, easy-to-read rental history reports.
As a member, you have access to a wide variety of landlord forms that are also vetted by real estate experts and lawyers, so you can rely on their accuracy. Many of these forms are free for AAOA members, who receive other perks too. Check out all of our free landlord forms.
We can help you identify qualified tenants with our tenant screening service for landlords. We offer a variety of rental background checks, many with tenant credit checks, providing you with the best data and value in screening packages anywhere.