Performing a thorough tenant background check is one of the most important tasks you will face as a landlord. Learn more about the process in our latest post!
Tenant Background Check
For many landlords, finding and screening tenants is one of the things they look forward to the least. However, you don’t want to rush the process just to fill a vacancy. Allowing a bad tenant to rent your property will only end up costing you more in the long run. So make sure you stick to this process and take all the precautions needed in order to protect yourself through tenant issues going forward.
Gather Tenant Information
Any renter you are considering needs to complete an application. This application will certainly tell you many points about the applicant plus it should include additional information. Their name, social security number, previous details, phone number, previous home information, job history plus references, and monthly income. You should also request their bank information if you plan on running a credit check. You will need a signed consent of your intent to run a background check, criminal history report and credit check. A credit check will require a special authorization form in order to be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Look For Potential Red Flags
Before investing in professional background checks, look for things on your own that might lead to potential tenant drama. For example , do they list many jobs within a small period of time? Or their references seem a bit shady… like maybe they are using their friends instead of actual work references. It is fine to change jobs, but if they are unable to hold one for a length of time, they could have trouble coming up with rent each and every month.
Meet With Potential Tenant
This can be a person you may have to talk to for many years, so you will need to make sure you get along and can communicate well. They will end up living in your property and you also need to get a sense if you are comfortable with them living there.
It is crucial to make sure this is certainly someone of strong character, who is honest also, someone who will treat your home as if it was their own. Of course, you may not be able to tell all of this from a meeting, but an individual will be able to be able to get yourself a pretty good thought of what kind regarding person they are. Like a job interview, ask a lot good questions.
Ask them exactly why they are moving, are they a smoker, do they have pets? Maybe they want pets in the future? Do these people have friends or loved ones staying with them? Although you don’t want to be too intrusive, these kinds of things usually are important when choosing renters for your Los Angeles home.
Run the Usual Reports
Take the time to run a credit check using the scores from the three major reporting bureaus. The tenant background check must be done by an approved consumer reporting agency according to the fair credit reporting act. This background check will show things like past criminal activity and if they are a registered sex offender. Some of these reports require a fee, so be prepared. You can offset this cost by including an application fee with the completed application. This will also ensure the prospective tenants you are working with are serious about renting your place.
You will want to reach out to past and present employers, as applicable. Also, speak to previous landlords and roommates if possible. This will give you a better idea of how they are day-to-day. You can ask for personal references as well, but these will likely be friends of the applicant who won’t typically have any disparaging remarks.
Make Your Decision
Take your time to do a thorough tenant background check. This shouldn’t be taken into lightly. Think about all of the factors and what you have learned about the prospective tenant. Listen to your gut and don’t rent to anyone you don’t feel certain about. Having the wrong tenant living in your Los Angeles rental property can cost you a lot, financially and mentally.