All landlords take a risk any time they choose to rent out their homes or properties. Today, they have the option of using one of the many tenant screening services that are readily available to them. These services are just what they say: They screen potential renters before a lease is signed on the dotted line. A potential renter's credit is checked along with his or her criminal background history. By knowing this information, there is less chance that checks will bounce, payments will be late, property will be damaged and evictions will occur.
By using one of these services, a landlord learns many things about a potential renter. The landlord is given a scorecard and other reports showing the renter's credit and criminal history. This information is obtained by the service via a nation-wide personal records search. Some of the information received is eviction notices, social security records and bankruptcy and legal judgments made by and against the potential renter. Once this information is obtained, it is put on a scorecard and given by the service to the landlord.
Of course, tenant screening services do come with a price to the landlord. In most cases, the landlord charges their prospective renter an application fee which covers any costs involved. Other times, the landlord has the potential renter pay the service directly. Once payment is made, a thorough and detailed investigation is done. Based on the results of the search, a landlord can then decide whether or not to rent to the applicable.
There are numerous benefits available to any landlord who uses these services. Upfront information is quickly obtained so that a decision can be made within a matter of hours. Potential losses from unpaid rent, eviction proceedings and dangerous activities are reduced or eliminated. These services have the sources readily available to prevent potential damage to rental property. Landlords know well ahead of time just what kind of person they are renting to. Payments will most likely be made on time and court appearances will all but disappear if a reliable and honest renter is chosen.
Tenant screening services generally have knowledgeable and educated representatives on their staff. They are professional and are there to assist the landlord in the difficult task of finding only good renters and in eliminating the bad ones. They help the landlord look at the background information obtained and use it to evaluate a prospective renter's ability to pay as promised. Interpretation of the scorecard and associated reports is made much easier by the service's representatives. Spending a few dollars upfront for these professional services will save a landlord many dollars in court fees later!