How to Run Tenant Credit Checks Online

Should I run credit checks on prospective tenants? How do I get tenant credit checks online? Find the answers here with our step by step guide.

Should You Run Tenant Credit Checks?

New landlords often wonder if it's worth paying $15 to $30 to check tenant credit. While we're big fans of saving money, we do highly recommend running tenant credit and background checks on someone before renting your property to him.

Here's why: Tenant credit reports reveal how much debt someone applicant owes and more importantly how punctual he is in repaying his debts. These debts include utility bills, credit card bills, car installments and bank loans.

Other than verifying someone's credit-worthiness, the reports also include personal details such as their employers and their previous addresses. This will come in very handy in case you want to contact their past landlords and employers to ask for references.

Since the ability of a tenant to pay rent on time can make or break a rental property, many landlords consider tenant credit checks to be a compulsory part of their tenant screening process.

How to Run Tenant Credit Checks Online

  1. Ask prospective tenants for their personal particulars (in your rental application form). Essential information for obtaining a credit report includes his first name, last name, current address, date of birth and social security number.

  2. To comply with the laws by the Fair Credit Reporting Act FCRA, you must have your tenant applicants' written permission before you can access their tenant credit report. To do this, you just need to prepare a written statement granting you permission and have your applicants sign it.

  3. Next look for a reliable tenant screening company to run your renter credit checks online - Tenant Verification Service and E-Renter are two popular sites that we highly recommend.

  4. Before you can buy tenant credit reports from tenant screening sites, you'll also need to sign up as a member and verify your identify as a landlord or property manager.

    Landlords, you're required to submit a copy of your property deed, your driver's license and a recent utility bill with your name and address. Property managers have to provide a copy of their property management agreement, a valid business license and a recent utility bill with their name and address.

  5. After making payment, you should receive your tenant credit reports online or via email. Depending on which tenant screening site you choose, your reports can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days to arrive. (Tenant Verification Services reports are delivered within minutes while E-Renter reports arrive on the same day).

NEXT: Interpreting Credit Scores and Understanding Tenant Credit Reports