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In the United States more than half of the country’s non-buying population is made up of real estate rentals.  Some owners choose to hire a property management company to take care of the complete rental process, but oftentimes real estate agents and individual landlords are the ones tasked with filling vacancies.  No matter who is renting a property the fact remains that applicants have rights that are protected by law.  The same criteria must be used for all applicants so no arguments can be made alleging discrimination took place.  Important questions still need to be answered though about whether the applicant will pay their bills on time, or if they have a past that would make them a risk to the property.

There are 3 bare minimums that should be researched when filling a rental property:

  1. Is the renters credit report acceptable?
  2. Have they committed any serious crimes in recent years?
  3. Do they show a record of being evicted from other rental properties?

Combining these elements produces a complete tenant credit check report geared at researching the most pressing questions to protect a property.  Verifying the renters credit report gives an indication of whether the applicant has the capacity to afford the rental property.  Looking at a renters credit score also demonstrates their ability to pay bills in a timely manner.  Viewing a renters criminal history for any crimes that may relate to their lease protects not only the rental property, but also the community.  These reports should always include a search of the sex offender registry especially if a home is within close range to places that frequently have children present.  A proper renters eviction history is the next best thing to personally calling the applicant’s references to ask whether they took care of a property.  Anyone who has been evicted due to property damage, or lease violations will likely pose a higher risk to future properties.

The difficulty for those who don’t handle rental properties for a living is that there are security measures in place to protect the average consumer from anyone being able to view their personal information.  The most problematic is attempting to find a tenant credit check report without going through a long and expensive setup process.  The time it takes for the credit bureau to provide access to the reports can range from several days to a week.  More and more companies have been finding ways to battle these measures to provide information, but generally it is limited.

Recently Experian® created a process that allows a credit report to be requested and viewed on a case by case basis.  This process has since been modified by ApplyConnect to include the nationwide renter criminal history, and nationwide renter eviction history giving a complete renter background check.  The Experian® credit report even includes the VantageScore 3.0® which was developed using a similar rating system as the FICO® score, but can work with renters who have minimal credit history.  Using this ApplyConnect system, real estate agents and independent rental owners are able to request a tenant credit check report, giving the renter much more control over their confidential credit record.  The renter pays for the report, and has the opportunity to view it before sharing the report with the lessor.

ApplyConnect is the first of its kind in delivering all of the necessary elements needed on a renters credit check to make an educated decision about a renter.  In a market where renting is the new norm, it is essential that people and properties are protected using the tools that are available.  For more information about ApplyConnect visit www.ApplyConnect.com.

VantageScore® is a registered trademark of VantageScore Solutions, LLC.
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

About the Author

Ryan Green headshotRyan Green has been working within the real estate and property management industries since 2005, and presently serves as the Marketing Manager for CIC. He holds a degree in Business Administration as well as FCRA and Experian certifications. When not passionately educating the industry about tips and trends he enjoys traveling, and visiting craft breweries.

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