There are landlords out there who think that they can just contact a credit check company and check the credit of their future tenant without having to prove who they are. If this was the case them we would all be doing credit checks on each other.
Landlords need to prove a few things before they can go through with the checks. This may seem unnecessary to some people but it is necessary. If you are a landlord, then you will have to prove that you are one!
What will you need?
The information that you will need to prove you are a landlord, will vary depending on the company that you are using to do the credit check. The most likely form you will need will be to prove that you own the rental property. This could be in the form of a mortgage agreement, utility bill or a purchase agreement.
As with anything that involves a bank or a loan company, you will need to prove that you live in your current address. This is simple enough. You will need a utility bill, or a bank statement addressed to you, with your name and address on it.
Lastly, you will need a document that proves your identity. This can be a driving licence or a passport, or some form of government ID. It could even be your birth certificate.
This is a long drawn out process and can take up to 10 days to get approved to do credit checks on tenants. However, you only need to do this once, with your chosen credit check company. After you are approved, you can run credit checks on future tenants without going through the process again.
What do you need from the tenant?
Before you can have the credit check done, you will need to verify some items. You should do this yourself because the credit check company might charge you for doing this. It is quite simple and easy to do.
All you need is their name, employment details and their current address. This is so you can check that they are who they say they are, check they can pay their rent and contact their previous landlord to find out if they are a good tenant.
If they supply you with their ID card, so you can check that they are giving you the right details, then make a copy of it so that they can't get a fake one later and tell you that they showed you the fake one.
Your future tenant might be a really nice person and you might be tempted to cut some corners so that they can live in your property but you must not do this. You must stick to the rules, no matter how nice they seem. It will be your loss in the future if you cut corners.
Who pays for the credit check?
This is up to you really. You are going to have to pay for the credit check, from the credit company. The only thing you have to think about, is who pays the fee, you or the tenant? Sometimes, if you charge the tenant, they may not rent the property. If they refuse to pay the fee, this might be a sign that they may not have good credit anyway.
You could pay the fee yourself, take it out of their security deposit and tell the tenant they will get it back as long as there is no issue when they come to move out, or have them pay and take it out of their rent. It's up to you and you do have options.