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Update: What Landlords Need to Know About Screening Tenants

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Dec 09, 2016

Landlords must follow regulated processes when choosing tenants for their properties. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects consumers from inaccurate information and allows the ability to dispute false claims. If a property owner chooses to screen potential tenants, and if they work with consumer reporting agencies or other companies who provide information about tenants to property owners, these regulations must be followed. In late November 2016, the Federal Trade Commission issued new guidance with regards to tenant screening.

Here's an update on what landlords need to know about screening tenants.

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Topics: FCRA Compliance, Tenant Background Screening

10,000 Refugees Placed in the U.S. Seeking Housing and Employment

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, Sep 12, 2016

The New York Times reported last week that 10,000 Syrian refugees have been successfully placed within the United States. Many of the refugees were placed within the past three months. With their new legal status, the families will begin integrating into their communities, looking to connect with relatives already in the country, seeking employment and housing. Both businesses and landlords will need to understand how to help someone who is settling into the country, with previous employment or education records possibly destroyed by war. Will you be prepared? 

What does your HR department need to know in order to hire immigrants? Is your property management company prepared to offer residence to refugees?

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Topics: Immigration, Employment Background Screening, Tenant Background Screening

Which Background Checks are Best for Tenant Screening?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, Aug 29, 2016

Landlords and property managers are wise to consider a potential tenant's background before they decide to rent to them. Not only should you protect your property investment, you may have to think about neighbors, homeowner's associations, security concerns and most importantly, can your tenant pay rent on time? If you go with your gut, you may be shelling out cold hard cash in eviction costs later. In fact, screening before renting can give you peace of mind and a better idea of the person signing the lease agreement. 

Which background checks will give you the answers you need about a new tenant?

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening

What is a Basic Background Check?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Aug 19, 2016

For hiring managers, human resources, landlords, property managers or nonprofits, running background checks on applicants, tenants or volunteers may seem like an overwhelming proposition. Cost could be a factor as well as simply not understanding what information would be returned. At VeriFirst, we're frequently asked about "basic background checks" and if the information would be substantial enough to make a hiring or rental decision. 

What is included a basic background check?

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, Tenant Background Screening, Types of Background Checks

Will Social Media and Search History Determine a Bad Tenant?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Tue, Jun 28, 2016

Recent news highlights a new trend: a tenant screening tool that requests access to your Facebook messages. With so much of our social and search information available online, it's no surprise that employers and landlords may want to get to know applicants better. Many questions arise in the advent of Internet searches including privacy concerns. Also, if an applicant refuses to give access to this information, can it be used against them?

Most importantly, does social media and search history determine the ability to be a good tenant?

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening

The Importance of Quality Employees in Property Management

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, May 09, 2016

Property managers have enough to worry about with maintenance and management of their properties, screening and placing safe and responsible tenants and ensuring rent is paid on time. A VeriFirst client recently shared with us that another challenge is the high rate of employee turnover in their leasing offices. As we went further into the discussion, we recognized the challenge of finding quality employees in property management affects more than just the front office. 

Your front office employees also affect the types of tenants that are being placed in your properties.

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, Tenant Background Screening, Employee Relationship Management, Hiring and Recruiting

Tenant Screening: Do Criminal Records Matter?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Apr 15, 2016

As a landlord, single or multifamily property owner, you probably already have a process for screening potential tenants. Having a defined rental policy is as important as a prepared lease agreement. Property owners and managers must abide by the Fair Housing Act which protects tenants or property buyers from housing discrimination. Earlier this month, federal changes have mandated that property managers revisit rental policies regarding tenant screening and criminal background checks. Here's what you need to know.

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening, Types of Background Checks

Students Rent their Rooms on AirBnB

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Feb 12, 2016

Ahhhh college... remember those days when you had ramen for every meal?  The extent of many student's creativity was adding cheese or cut up bologna to your noodles. These days, university students are getting increasingly creative and entrepreurial and it has many schools and student housing property owners upset. Taking advantage of the shared economy, many students are renting their rooms on AirBnB. So what's the problem?

Why are colleges and property owners up in arms about students renting their rooms on AirBnB?

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening

The Pros and Cons of a Quick Background Check

Posted by Ryan Howard on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

Quick Background Checks

We get it. There are many of us with a "fear of commitment". Even if you've been courting an awesome job candidate or are ready to rent to the perfect tenant, sometimes you only want a quick background check instead of committing to a third party background screening company. This is especially true if you know that your awesome job candidate or tenant could be off the market soon. You want to move swiftly. You also want credible data that you can depend on when making a decision on the right people. Is a quick background check a good idea? Let's dig deeper. 

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Topics: Types of Background Checks, Tenant Background Screening

Tenant Screening Tips for the Individual Landlord (Credit Checks and more)

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Independent property owners, including those that are looking to rent out their own home, are right to have concerns. They want to make sure the mortgage can still be paid and on time. They want to know that their beloved home will be left in capable hands with a trusted tenant. Here are a few helpful tenant screening tips for the individual landlord.

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening