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Using Tenant Credit Checks to Find Reliable Tenants

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Jun 07, 2012

Lease Decision

It's an old story: A well-meaning landlord accepts a new tenant who seems responsible, respectful and eager to get started on a new life in a new rental property.  Everything looks on the up and up.  Over time, though, this seemingly mild-mannered and responsible tenant shows their true colors.  Rent is late, other tenants complain about noise, damages occur to the property.  And of course there is always an excuse as to this bad behavior.  Things rarely end well in this sort of situation.

How to avoid this sort of thing in the first place?

One surefire way of getting a glimpse into a tenant's life is via a credit check.  Tenant credit checks can reveal quite a bit of pertinent information to a landlord or property manager:

  • Credit History - Does the prospective tenant have a history of paying their bills on time?
  • Current Debt Load - How does the level of debt compare to the income information provided?
  • Rental Payment Histories - What experiences has the prospective tenant had in other rental properties?
  • Criminal Record History - Does the prospective tenant have any history of charges or convictions?

When presented with a comprehensive view of a person's history via tenant credit checks, a landlord or property manager can make a more informed decision as to a prospective tenant's likelihood to prove themselves a good tenant in the future.

Why is this so important? Well of course it's vital for a tenant to pay their rent on time, reducing stress on a landlord/property manager.  But beyond that, it's important for the owner of a rental property to invest in tenants who will enhance the property's value by taking responsible care of it, rather than being lax and sloppy which will of course detract from property value over time.

All in all, tenant credit checks are a tool property owners need to utilize when it comes time to find new tenants.  It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Topics: Tenant Background Screening