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Why Is It Important To Background Check Your Soon-To-Be Tenants


If you have ever rented a live-in unit, you know avoiding problem renters is everything. When you’ve got good, responsible tenants living on your property you know you won’t have to get into uncomfortable arguments and situations every other month, or – even worse - come to collect rent one day and find your property demolished, or robbed with your renters nowhere in sight.

On that note, if you are considering renting your property, here’s a list of reasons why it is essential to do a background check of your soon-to-be tenants.

#Your Property Protection

In talking to your potential tenants, you are setting yourself up to know as much valuable information as possible that will help you decide if this person is a good match or not. Start by asking yourself questions like:

  • Does this tenant have a history of reckless behavior and vandalism?

  • What is their lifestyle? Are they party people or low-key?

  • What’s their temper like?

  • Do they strike you as reliable or flaky?

These and similar questions may be a great start for when you are marketing your rental property. You want to make sure you are renting your property to someone who’ll treat it like their own, not someone who’ll ruin it.

#Financial Security

No matter how well you click with someone during your interview doesn’t mean you can cut corners and ignore their financial liability. Like criminal background checks, financial background checks are an essential starting point when saying “yes” to a tenant. Why? You want to be sure a potential tenant can pay the rent and utilities regularly. Before doing the background check, have in mind that:

  • Before checking his or her financial history, you must obtain written consent from an applicant

  • Some jurisdictions consider “source of income” a protected class, so, as a landlord, you won’t always be able to consider the source of income when evaluating an applicant’s financial solidity

#The Safety of Your Neighbors

Checking if your potential tenant has a criminal record is only logical because you don’t want to rent to someone with a history of any violence or threatening behavior and in doing so a) endanger your safety b) endanger your neighbors by exposing them to unpredictable and dangerous practices of your tenant. So, to stay on the safe side, ask the tenant if they have a criminal record or whether they’d ever been charged with anything; then, double-check this information with the authorities personally, to be sure.

#Your Peace of Mind

There are plenty of positives and negatives of owning a rental property, but getting stuck with problematic tenants is one of the worst aspects of it. Financial and criminal background checks aside, there are still a few things you need for your peace of mind. Ask your applicants to provide a few references from previous landlords, who can vouch for their cleanliness and timeliness. You can also ask for an earlier landlord’s contact information to get in touch with them if the applicant agrees. Remember to keep your questions limited to your tenant’s reliability as renters if you get to speak to their previous landlord.

Finding good tenants is a real blessing, especially in today’s climate of digital nomads, insecure jobs, and low income.

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