How to Run a Tenant Background Check Online

What can you learn from a tenant background check and what are the best sites for running a renter background check? Find the answers here with our complete tenant screening guide.

RELATED: How to Screen Your Potential Tenants by Phone and in Person

What is a Tenant Background Check? - Introduction

Background checks are an essential part of the tenant screening process - After you have interviewed your prospective tenants by phone and in person, the next step is to make sure that the information provided by the (shortlisted) applicants is accurate.

For starters, a basic renter background check is able to verify your applicant's name, (current and former) addresses and social security number.

Good tenant screening sites such as E-Renter will also allow you to search for criminal and eviction records. In our books, any applicant with a criminal record or eviction record is a straightforward no.

To see how a tenant criminal background check looks this, take a look at the screenshot below:

Tenant Criminal Background Check

Take Note: A renter background check isn't the same as a tenant credit report. While the purpose of a background check is to find honest tenants who will follow the rules, a credit report establishes whether the applicant is able and willing to pay the rent - Click here to learn how to run tenant credit checks.

How do I Run a Background Check on a Tenant?

  1. Have all your tenant applicants fill in a rental application form with a clause that grants you permission to run a background check on him or her:

    "I hereby authorize the prospective landlord to carry out any background and credit checks necessary to verify my particulars and standing."

  2. To run background and credit checks on tenants, you'll need to sign up as a member of a reputable tenant screening site such as E-Renter. Once you have registered, you'll be able to order tenant reports (identity, criminal and eviction records) for a fee of $15 to $35.

  3. With the information provided in the rental application form, contact your applicant's current employer and landlords for references - Click here for a list of tenant screening questions to ask landlords and employers.

Tenant Screening

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