As a property manager, you have a responsibility to protect your property and your tenants with property management background checks. When you consider new applicants for your facility, these checks are an important tool for you to use. Background checks provide you with an overview of the tenants who apply to rent from you. You learn about creditworthiness, work history, and more. Some important checks are:
- Credit Report
- Criminal History
- Employment Verification
- Public Records
Categories Crucial for Property Management Background Checks
A credit report is often the first step property managers take to assess a new tenant. While an important report, this is only part of a more comprehensive view of the tenant. Credit reports show you the tenant’s financial history and liabilities. Look for punctual payments, length of credit history and credit load. This suggests the likelihood of on-time rent payments and fiscal responsibility.
Property management background checks must include a criminal history on any person who applies to live in the property. A criminal history report helps you protect other tenants as well as your liability.
You need to consider your company’s policies on criminal history. Do you exclude specific offenses? Do you take into consideration how long ago the offense took place? Be sure to have your policies set in writing prior to property management background checks.
If you’re unsure how to write a legally-compliant policy, ask us! At Barada Associates, we have vast experience with these important documents. We also work with our law partners to verify details and keep you legal and protected.
An employment verification gives you a closer look at the tenant’s reliability and financial security. If you find a potential tenant who does not keep jobs for very long periods of time or regularly dismissed, consider how this may affect their time as a tenant at your property.
Just be careful about making assumptions. In this “gig” economy, more people are hired as freelancers or independent contractors. In fact, according to Forbes, it’s now 36 percent of American workers or around 57 million people. As a result, their employment record may appear nontraditional to you.
Public records are available to anyone in the public who takes the time to look. These records include evictions, liens, suits, and judgments against the individual. This information is important to know going into a leasing contract.
Good property management background checks provide you with information about past tenant experiences. If an individual has had several past evictions, he or she has the potential to repeat the behavior in your property.
References are a good last step in your property management background checks. Ask for personal or professional references or both. These individuals should be able to provide you with a good understanding of the individual on a personal level.
Remember to ask plenty of open-ended questions to allow the reference to provide you with as much information as possible. Is this the sort of tenant to create fire hazards or the sort who notifies you the toilet runs and saves you from a giant water bill? Would they make a good neighbor for your tenants?
Personal and professional references are a great tool to surface a person’s character and general nature.
If you read this list and think it sounds like a lot of work – it is! This is especially true if you have many properties to manage. While tempting to skip the step of background checks, don’t! Beyond your financial interest, imagine if a loved one lived next door to someone who proved to be irresponsible or dangerous. Take the time and do it.
Need More Guidance for Property Management Background Checks? Contact Barada Associates!
Barada Associates has conducted background checks for 40 years. We streamline the process and take care of all the hassle for you. Just give us a call and we handle the rest. We provide you with a comprehensive overview of the applicant and you make the decision.
It has never been easier to verify quality tenants. So contact Barada Associates today and see the difference four decades of experience makes!