Different Tenant Background Check Options, and How to Choose Between Them

Different Tenant Background Check Options, and How to Choose Between Them

While landlords across much of the country are struggling to attract tenants, Orlando does not have that same problem. The metro area was recently ranked as one of the most competitive rental markets in America, with vacancy rates of less than 5%.

In order to take advantage of this market, it is essential that you have a robust tenant screening process in place to attract the right people for your property.

You want tenants who will pay the rent on time and maintain a good relationship with both yourself and other tenants. With the right tenant background check, you can get it right every time. Here are your options.

Credit Check

One reliable way to confirm your tenant's finances and financial history is by running a credit check. A credit check allows you to see their payment history, credit score, and any outstanding debts that could affect their ability to meet their rent payment obligations.

While this method has its limitations, since a good credit score does not automatically mean a good financial history, it can tell you how likely they are to pay the bills on time.

Employment Verification

Employment verification involves securing confirmation of your tenant's job, contract, and salary. This can be sought through payslips, bank statements, and tax receipts.

If your property or area has a minimum income requirement, this is an essential part of the screening process. While this gives you a good sense of your tenant's overall finances, it does not take into account any future changes in their employment status or income.

Rental History Verification

If you want to get a more holistic view of how an applicant would behave as a tenant, you should seek verification of their rental history. The most straightforward way to do this is by gathering landlord references.

These are written statements from landlords attesting to their behavior as a tenant and their history of making payments.

If you care strongly about having a respectful tenant, this is a key step. However, note that this form of screening can sometimes be biased and not as reliable as hard financial data.

Criminal Background Check

It's crucial to note that, even if a tenant has a criminal record, this is no indication of their ability to make payments or behave in a respectful manner. It is essential to take a nuanced approach and only use this screening method to see if there are any red flags that relate directly to their suitability as a tenant.

For example, if a background check reveals a history of property theft or vandalism, then you have relevant criteria on which to base your decision to rent to that applicant. Always look at the full picture and never discriminate based purely on the presence of a criminal record, which may not reflect a tenant's current character and position.

We Offer a Robust, Compliant Tenant Background Check Service for Orlando Property Owners

A tenant background check is a highly effective way to make informed, strategic decisions regarding your rental properties. However, it is essential to get this right.

This is where we can help. At PMI Property Alliance, we can run full-service, compliant background checks that match you with the right tenants for your property. You can read more about our screening services right here.