Some Tips for Checking Out Renters in the Modern Economy

At the end of 2014, close to 6% of the US economy was unemployed. The economy is getting better, but there are people who haven’t worked in a long time, and have had to face nearly a decade of extreme hardship. New jobs and higher wages are coming, and some of these people are fighting hard to recover. Lending to these people is critical to getting our economy off the ground, but it’s hard for landlords to justify the risk just because the principle sounds morally righteous.

However, if you consider tenant screening services as part of your arsenal, and you’re prepared to take an unconventional approach to lending, than this guide is for you.

Dealing With No Prior Landlord

It’s useful, sometimes, to get the previous landlords opinion of a tenant. Today, some people have lost homes or have lived with parents and haven’t rented in years. Their previous experiences may provide dated information. What do you do?

Tenant background checks provide you with a great deal of information you would need to make these kinds of decisions confidently. You’ll learn more than just a tenant’s eviction history, and more data means you’re better informed and ready for a better decision. You can also get criminal background information as well.


Let’s be honest, the past decade has been fairly volatile, and it’s likely whoever you’re renting to has had some downtime in employment. Here’s what you should do:

  • Gather employer information, including contact info.
  • Look the employer up and consult their website. Sometimes, they can provide a simple solution to verify employment.
  • Ask for copies of pay stubs.

What if the tenant owns his own business? He should have some financial disclosures to support that, and will be able to furnish those on demand. You can also check public records, in case the tenant isn’t forthcoming with information, or can’t immediately provide it.

Final Thoughts and Tips

Remember that this all hinges upon the rules and regulations of your state, so be prepared to hire an attorney to navigate this process and form a plan. A landlord credit check is legal, depending on your state, but you’ll need to provide some disclosures to the potential renter ahead of time. You may need to inform them of what data you’ll be gathering, and you may need to supply them a copy of the report you’re using to verify that data. Also, the most important tip is to try and be understanding within reason. When you have the data, and you’re listening to the tenant’s story, try and meet them halfway.

Tenant Screening Services, LLC offers tenant background checks that look at bankruptcy, credit, eviction, criminal background and more.