Last updated: October 2, 2023
If you own rental properties, you’ve undoubtedly had renters who caused problems in one way or another. Maybe the rent was consistently late—if it was paid at all—and having to pursue an eviction takes things to an entirely different level. Perhaps your renter was contacting you constantly to complain about their neighbors or vice versa. A lot of those unfortunate situations could be eliminated if you ran a tenant background check.
A substantial number of realtors have made requiring a tenant background check part of their leasing process. If you aren’t one of them, here are four reasons that you should consider adding this step.
Determine financial responsibility
We mentioned the late rent, no rent scenario already. It’s the greatest source of tension between landlords and tenants. It’s understandable that there are events in people’s lives that cause them to need a bit of leeway at times. However, if the person has established a pattern of being financially irresponsible, a credit check is going to let you know pronto.
Results are nearly instanteous and you’ll discover a lot. Have they ever filed for bankruptcy? Are their tax liens against them? Do they carry mountains of credit card debt? You can discover the answers with the click of your mouse.
Are they a threat to society?
The world is growing more violent. Lots of people have extremely short fuses and don’t hesitate to act impulsively when provoked—or stimulated. A background check will determine if someone has a past history of violence. Have they spent time in jail? Are they a registered sex offender?
Protecting your tenants from harm is a top priority. Background checks provide you with these types of information.
Background checks bring out legal battles
Knowing whether or not a future tenant is involved in any legal battles shouldn’t really be a matter of importance. However, if the battles involve previous landlords or co-tenants, it might be a good idea to move on to the next application.
Avoiding the eviction process
Early termination of a lease that is brought on due to rent money owed or aggressive behaviors displayed is a nightmare. Reaching the actual point of eviction can take months to achieve and the headaches in the meantime are something property owners dread.
Once the tenant is gone, there’s no telling how long the space has been costing you money instead of earning it. And, now you have to take on the expense of readying the place for the next renter to move in. We’re hoping that isn’t a task worthy of making an episode of “Hoarders.”
Having someone living on your property that consistently causes you or others a hard time is a rough period to get through. Requiring a tenant background check can help you find tenants who are a pleasure to have under your roof. If you haven’t gotten around to adding it to your application process, you ought to put it to your list of things to do—we know you’ve got one!
You won’t regret it.