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How to Obtain Applicant Consent and Authorization to Background Check

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, May 04, 2017

Background checks are becoming more common, not only for creditors and landlords, but for employers and people looking for roommates or babysitters. A background check can eliminate people who do not meet your set criteria. Perhaps you are an employer who requires your employees to use a company car. Obtaining a driving record is a critical piece in the employment process. By utilizing background checks, you are able to feel more confident that you are bringing a person into a situation that will work for everyone involved.

Before performing a background check, you need to make sure you understand some of the basics behind a background check.

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening, Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

Employer & Landlord Responsibilities via the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Posted by Ryan Howard on Wed, May 03, 2017

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) places limits and rules on the usage of consumer reports by both employers and landlords. As such the following duties must be carried out when you are making use of a personal consumer report.

Employer and Landlord Responsibilities under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening, Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

How Criminal Background Checks affect Teen Convicted Felons

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, Jan 16, 2017

Last week, NPR shared a story of Eduardo, a 32 year old man who was tried as an adult at age 17 when he was caught selling cocaine outside his New York apartment building. He was released on parole for good behavior but his criminal record has stayed with him ever since, affecting job and housing opportunities. In December, Governor Cuomo pardoned Eduardo, one of the first pardons in the state for those convicted for non-violent crimes at age 16 or 17, sealing his record from the public. 

Should employers be concerned?

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Topics: Types of Background Checks, Tenant Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

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: Tenant Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

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: Tenant Background Screening, Employment Background Screening, Immigration

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

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: Tenant Background Screening, Employee Relationship Management, Employment Background Screening, 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: Types of Background Checks, Tenant Background Screening