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Rental Agreement

Why Property Owners Should Do Background Checks on Tenants

If you own or manage a property, than you are familiar with all the struggles that come with the territory. While it can be a prestigious business and often very lucrative for those who are fortunate enough to own property, it is not always easy, as you may imagine. Especially if you own a residence, such as a home or an apartment building, it is not uncommon to want to pre-screen applicants before allowing them to rent from you. Good property managers usually handle this end of the business side of things, and there are important steps that need to be taken before allowing a prospective tenant to live in a residence of yours. Along with an application process that evaluates income and reputability, it is also important to perform a significant background check on all applicants. In any business, particularly one that you have invested much of your own funds in (like a house), it is always important to make sure that the people who report to you are reliable, trustworthy, and can be sure to take responsibility for their choices. A background check is a good way to evaluate a person’s life choices to see if they are the best fit for your property, and for your business.

They get informed about the tenants

Property owners should always do background checks on tenants for a variety of reasons, and they all involve protecting your namesake and your livelihood. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances where background checks may reveal questionable information about an individual who has reformed their ways and made an adequate attempt at making good decisions in life. However, it is of the utmost importance that you do not let your moral judgment get in the way of making good choices for yourself; after all, if you don’t take care of your business, who will? Researching an individual is only protecting your interests and making sure that the relationship between tenant and landlord will be smooth and productive. Taking on a tenant is much like hiring a new employee—you want to make sure that they uphold your reputation and are a low-risk decision. Otherwise, it is likely that you could regret the choice you made in a tenant. Therefore, having as much information as possible before you make your decision is the surest way to protect your business, and your residence.

Protects well being of other tenants

In addition to making careful choices for yourself, by utilizing background checks you are also protecting the well being of other tenants in the area or in your same building. For instance, it is common for a tenant background check to look for criminal records and sex offender records. While some infractions may be forgiven or redeemed, not all criminal backgrounds should be forgotten. Allowing a known sex offender to rent in your apartment building is a known risk that you may be subjecting families and children to; it is important to have as much information as possible before making such a controversial choice. Of course, these choices may also be dependent upon state laws and policies regarding what is considered discriminatory—it is important to inform yourself on your state’s own laws. Regardless of one’s criminal past, there are other important factors to consider when reviewing your applicants for residency.

Apartment for Rent

It will give you reliable tenants

In addition to criminal history and sex offender registration, tenant background checks also should include a proof of adequate income, any history of eviction, and the individual’s employment history. These can all be very telling of a person’s dedication and commitment to paying their bills on time and staying out of financial trouble. Again, as the property owner it is always at your discretion whether or not to take on any particular tenant; however, allowing a tenant to reside at your property that does not have a source of income or is not currently employed is a high risk to your business, and it is a sure way to set yourself up to lose money each month. Just as an employer would consider a new employee, it is ideal to only choose the most reliable and dedicated applicants. Background checks are essential for property owners and property management—they eliminate a huge source of risk for your business and income.

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Gavin Muirhead

Gavin Muirhead has been involved in developing products for background checks and improving online experiences in the background screening industry since 2012. He is the lead author and editor of Affordable Background Checks.