Skip to main content

Property Management Blog

Making Tenant Criminal Background Check Part of Your Rental Process

Making Tenant Criminal Background Check Part of Your Rental Process

44.1 million households in the United States are renters. With so many renters, you never know who will be bad tenants.

As a landlord, you want to ensure you're leasing your property to someone you can depend on and who will pay rent on time. Unfortunately, it's too easy for someone to fake a winning personality. These people may hide something they know would get them passed up for the property.

Keep reading if you haven't made a tenant criminal background check part of your tenant onboarding process. Here's everything you need to know.

What Is a Tenant Criminal Background Check?

If you own rental real estate, you must decide who your new tenants will be. The application will gather some information, but a lot of information is not asked. This is where a tenant criminal background check comes in.

A criminal background check is a deep dive into your tenant's history. This check will review the applicant's education, employment, eviction, and criminal records. This information will be beneficial when deciding who to lease to.

How to Run a Background Check

If you want to include a tenant criminal background check as part of your tenant screening process, you must know how to perform it. Let's break it down.

1. Consent

The first thing you need to do before going any further is get consent. Fortunately, you can get a good idea of who not to lease to by making a note of anyone who does not consent. You can dedicate a section of your lease stating the need for signatures and consent.

2. Tenant's Information

The next step in this criminal background check is to gather information from the tenant. This information comprises the tenant's full name, social security number, etc. This will help you move on to the next step in the tenant screening process.

3. Find a Background Check Service

Now you want to select a company to do the tenant criminal background check. You can find options by looking on the internet. Just ensure that whoever you choose is approved by the Federal Trade Commission.

4. Pay For The Tenant Criminal Background Check

There are two ways you can approach the costs of a criminal background check. Either you, as the property owner, can absorb the costs, or you can include the costs in the rental application process. If you choose the latter, ensure your application states clearly who will be responsible for the costs.

A word of advice, familiarize yourself with the criminal background check laws regarding what you can and can't do. You don't want to open yourself up to a discrimination lawsuit.

San Diego Property Management at Your Fingertips

The primary purpose of a tenant criminal background check is to protect yourself and your property from potential bad tenants. When you incorporate a criminal background check into your tenant screening process, ensure you get consent and confirm the payee.

If you need property management services and are in the San Diego area, get in touch with us. We have experts waiting to hear how they can help.