Having to rent to a new tenant is like walking into an unknown dark room. By the time your eyes adjust, you may have walked into some pretty deep muck that could be hard to get out of. Renting to new tenants does not have to be scary or uncharted territory when you check their backgrounds and credit history.
You may be wondering if you have any right to be checking into a potential renter's private background or credit history. The fact of the matter is that you do. When you specifically state to an applicant that you will be performing a background and credit check on the application and the applicant signs off on it, you are able to perform the checks without worry. If you have further concerns, consult your attorney about your rights.
You would not hand over the keys to your home or car without knowing anything about a person. The same can be said for your rental properties. You could be handing the keys over to your property to anyone when you choose to do so without a background or credit check. It would be unthinkable to do this with your other property, so why should your rental property be any different?
What can this background information tell you about a tenant? For starters, your potential tenant may have a criminal history of serious crime. You should be aware of this type of information in order to protect yourself and other tenants from violent or fraudulent crime. He or she may have a history of being evicted and sued for rent money, too. You need to be aware of this and other information.
Knowing a tenant's history can save you a legal headache in the long run. Taking tenants to court who have no assets or money can seem like an expensive and fruitless cause. Knowing their job history can help you to decide whether the potential renters are people who are diligent in staying on track and out of trouble.
It is not easy to spot someone that could turn your life upside down by damaging your property, not paying rent on time or at all, or harassing other tenants. A person who seems like a perfect match for your property at first meeting may be the person that you've wished to avoid all along. The only way to know for sure is to take a risky chance.
A less risky chance is by checking the person's credit history. A person who has great credit will not likely want to jeopardize it. They have shown financial responsibility and are unlikely to suddenly forget these responsibilities. Quite frankly, a person who has shown that they care about their creditworthiness will not typically take a turn for the worse and neglect to pay you your rent.
You should also verify employment through a background check. A person that has been at the same job for many years has a solid income and has shown responsibility by remaining with the same company for so long. Anyone can tell you that they have a job with regular income, but the only way to know for sure is through a background check.
Your rental property is an expensive investment, and you don't want to allow anyone to jeopardize your careful planning and care of your property. Renting to the wrong person can cause a loss of revenue, damage to your property, and a lot of lost time fought in legal battles. You can prevent these negative things from happening when you require background and credit checks for potential renters.