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The Importance of a Rental Background Check


Having a troublesome tenant is not an ideal situation for a property owner. A tenant who cannot manage the financial obligations of their lease will cost you time and money. There are ways to avoid entering into an agreement with a less than satisfactory tenant. The best thing to do is to thoroughly screen all renter applicants. This involves setting up tenant screening criteria. Here are some common points to examine when processing a rental background check:

Rental Reference

Does the previous landlord recommend the tenant? Finding out if your prospective tenant has a history of paying rent on time and treating a property with respect will give you peace of mind.

Employment Information

Does the applicant show enough income to cover the rent amount? Is their work history consistent? You need to ensure that the renter you select can pay their rent on time each and every month. Getting to know the employment situations of prospective renters will help you determine if they can afford to rent your property.


Does the applicant have unpaid collections that are not medical related? Unpaid collections are a big red flag during any credit screening process. In order to find the most qualified renter, you'll want to make sure that you select an applicant with a history of paying off their debts.

Late Payments

Is there a pattern of late payments in the applicant's credit report? It's easy to spot late payment trends on a rental background check. Do your due diligence to ensure that you'll receive your monthly rent checks on time.


Are there bankruptcies in the applicant's record? Not all bankruptcies are fiscally fatal for an applicant, but you should strongly consider other options if you uncover a bankruptcy during your rental background check.

Credit Score

Does the applicant's credit score fall into your accepted range? It's a good idea to have a predetermined range of acceptable credit scores for your applicants. Stick to that range and you'll have an easier time finding a responsible tenant.


Has the applicant been evicted from a rental property in the past? No property owner wants to deal with evictions. It's just a big hassle for everyone involved. Do your homework so you can avoid these situations with your tenants.

Criminal Record

Does the applicant have a criminal record? Be sure to check your state and local laws regarding what offenses can be used as grounds for denying a rental application.

All of this information can be found in a credit report as well as a background check. By becoming a member of ClearScreening, you can quickly pull reports on your potential tenants. Membership is free and reports are both fast and inexpensive. Become a member today and start pulling rental background checks instantly.

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