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Accepting Tenants: What Does a Rental Background Check Consist Of?

Renting out your home can be a wonderful experience, but you should not do it without carefully checking your tenants. With that said, one of the most important steps in the rental process is the background check. 

A rental background check is a process that landlords and property managers use to screen potential tenants and ensure that they are suitable for renting the property. This article discusses what a rental background check consists of.

Credit Check

A credit check is one of the most important components of a rental background check. It involves checking a potential tenant’s credit report to determine their credit score, payment history, and outstanding debts. Landlords and property managers use this information to assess the tenant's financial responsibility and determine whether they are likely to make timely rent payments.

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check is another important component of a rental background check. This involves checking a potential tenant’s criminal history to determine if they have any past convictions or arrests that could make them a risky tenant. This can help to ensure that the property is rented to tenants who are safe and trustworthy. Depending on the jurisdiction, certain criminal convictions may disqualify a tenant from renting a property.

Employment Verification

Employment verification involves checking a potential tenant’s employment history to confirm their income and employment status. This is an important step in determining the tenant's ability to pay rent and maintain a steady income. Landlords and property managers may also ask for references from previous landlords or employers to get a better sense of the tenant's rental history and work ethic.

Read more: Top Mistakes to Avoid When Screening Tenants

Rental History Check

A rental history check involves contacting previous landlords to verify a potential tenant’s rental history. This involves contacting the tenant's previous landlords to obtain information about their past rental agreements, payment history, and any damages they may have caused to previous rental properties. These types of information can help landlords and property managers assess the tenant's reliability and responsibility as a renter.

A landlord or property manager may ask for the following information:

  • Dates of the rental period
  • Rent payment history
  • Condition of the rental property
  • Lease violations
  • Communication and behavior

Identity Verification

Identity verification involves checking a potential tenant’s identification documents, such as their driver’s license or passport, to ensure that they are who they say they are. This step helps to prevent identity theft and ensures that the landlord or property manager is dealing with the correct individual.

Read more: Lease Clause: Identity of Tenants

Final Thoughts

A rental background check is a crucial step in the rental process. It involves checking things like a potential tenant's credit history, criminal background, employment history, rental history, and identity to assess their suitability. 

Being thorough with the background check allows landlords and property managers to have responsible and reliable tenants who will take good care of the property and pay rent on time. Tenants, on the other hand, should be prepared to provide all necessary information and documentation to help expedite the rental process and increase their chances of being approved.