When it comes to effective property management, the owners must screen the applicants carefully to ensure that these people will not create disturbances, cause damage, or are capable of paying for the space. Aside from conducting credit checks or income verification, it is also important to perform a Tenant Criminal Background Check to your lease applicants. This is because, as a landlord, you are responsible for whatever happens on the premises. Screening can help avoid facing these unfortunate events.
Prevent Identity Fraud
Despite the many advantages of the Internet, some people use it to commit crimes, such as identity theft. If you have no idea who your tenant is, you may be in for a surprise. You could have a problem with property damages. If you do not perform a criminal background check, you have no way of knowing how they will take care of the place. You will also have no recourse if the damages to your rental property are due to their actions. Also, a tenant who is hiding their true identity is likely to have other things to hide.
Discourage Bad Tenants
When you request a Tenant Criminal Background Check for a lease applicant, you are sending a clear message to them that you mean business. This background check will discourage someone who has something to hide. The red flags to watch out for include if the applicant refuses to authorize the screening or if they suddenly stop replying or communicating after you request a background check.
Minimize Tenant Turnover
Requiring a criminal background check to all your applicants conveys to prospective renters that you have a strict screening process. Having a system like this attracts high-quality tenants, which is beneficial to you. You want to attract renters who will renew their lease and stay for a long time in your rental property. It helps you save time and money, as it removes the need to look for a new tenant now and then.
What if the tenant has a criminal history?
In case the applicant has a criminal history, here are some factors to consider:
- Frequency. Did the person commit a single crime or multiple ones? Compared to a single incident, several misdemeanors and arrests present a bigger red flag.
- Legal considerations. Sometimes, criminal offenders have legal restrictions; for example, they cannot be near parks and schools. Find out if an applicant is under probation or court restrictions. Take into account the location of your property if it is nearby parks and schools.
- Severity. Be wary of violent crimes and avoid them at all costs. On the other hand, you have the option to reconsider minor offenses such as underage alcohol consumption and speeding tickets.
- Relevance. As a property owner, you should pay attention and be concerned about theft, unauthorized possession of weapons, arson, vandalism, and violent crimes.
- Recency. Find out when the crime happened? A criminal act that occurred 10-20 years ago may not be as important as a crime that happened several months ago.
Renting out your property is a great way to monetize your investment. As long as you get good tenants with no criminal history, it can be a steady source of income for you. The information you obtain from the Tenant Criminal Background Check can help protect your property, the other tenants, and your neighborhood.