The 11 Tenant Screening Services Reviewed In This Guide

I waited on hold for before speaking with a person.

Get access to tenant screening tools that are easy to use and help you find the right renter.

Screening Works does not offer bankruptcy information on their reports so I asked how long evictions are reportable for correct answer would be seven years. I never received a call back. Tenant Alert does not provide bankruptcy information so I asked how long they can report evictions for. I was given a correct answer of seven years.

Tenant Screening Reports for Landlords

I was able to get a person on the phone in 16 seconds which was the quickest response of any service tested. A service like Buildium could make sense if you manage hundreds of units. Facebook reviews take their reviews with a grain of salt, it looks like people get them confused with the insurance company. I called e-renter and to ask how long a bankruptcy is reportable for. I was able to get through to a person in 26 seconds.

Tenant Screening

In those cases, it is 10 years. I was given an answer of how far back they will report bankruptcy. I found this phone support test to be the most troublesome. I was told that eviction data goes back as far as court records will go. I was put on hold and eventually told that they are reportable for seven years. This was concerning because the first answer is the type of reply that can get a landlord in trouble. If a landlord uses an eviction from eight years ago as reasoning to deny a tenant applicant they could be liable to a lawsuit.

The two buckets on the right have an endless supply of automated resellers and property management services. Tenant Magic is a newer service in the past few years. They were left off of this review due to being focused on realtors as opposed to landlords for their product. The prevailing party can also recover court costs and reasonable attorney fees. If the landlord does not provide written notice, you may choose to inform the landlord of the new requirement to disclose the information detailed above.

Speak to a Tenant Counselor or attorney for more information and assistance, or see our Legal Assistance Guide. Credit is one of the primary issues that landlords consider when screening tenants. If you know that you have credit problems, or if you find yourself paying numerous costly credit check fees to apartment buildings, you can take a copy of your credit report to the landlord when you look at the apartment and show them any blemishes that appear. Landlords do not have to accept your copy of the credit report, but you can explain what happened to your credit and what you are doing to clear up the problem.

You may be able to improve your credit by paying off any judgments or debts and making sure everything that appears on the report is correct. It will take work to clean up your credit. There is no quick way to get rid of credit issues, but many landlords will be more willing to work with you if you have negotiated a payment plan to pay off back debts. Solid Ground offers Financial Fitness Boot Camp that may be helpful in getting back on your feet financially.

As of December , the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the three big credit reporting agencies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. It will cost a few dollars more if you would also like a credit score FICO score , in addition to your report.

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There are three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These agencies have set up one central website, phone number, and address through which you can order your free annual report. Be careful of fake or fraudulent websites. To order a copy of your credit report, go to annualcreditreport. Keep in mind that each of the three credit reporting agencies above will have different information on you, so Equifax might show an account that Experian does not, for example. It all depends on whom your creditors use.


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You might want to get all three, requesting a different one every few months so you have the complete picture. If the entire reason or part of the reason the landlord denied your tenancy is because of your credit report, they must tell you that they did so and provide you with the name, address and phone number of the credit reporting agency that provided that information to them. In turn, that credit reporting agency must provide you with a free copy of your credit report. Typically, in order to obtain the free report you must make the request within 30 days. Potential landlords may research your rental history and seek references from previous landlords to get a sense of your qualifications as a renter.

There are no laws in the Landlord-Tenant Act that restrict what information about you a landlord gives as a part of the screening process. You may decide to bring references from former landlords or employers and other character references. If you are concerned that a former landlord may misrepresent or lie about your qualifications as a tenant, you can give the new landlord an explanation of the situation or additional references.

Do you have an eviction on your record? Unfortunately, even if you never went to court, if a landlord ever filed a lawsuit to evict you, it will show up on your record. It is often best to be upfront about this with a potential landlord.

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The 11 Best Tenant Background Check Services [Definitive List ]

You can explain the circumstances and ask if they are willing to rent to tenants with past evictions on their records. Additionally, make sure that any judgments against you have been paid. If you were evicted illegally, or won in eviction court, it will still show up in your record as an eviction and can be used against you in the screening process.

You can bring a written explanation or a letter from the court stating that you won the eviction, or that the action was brought against you illegally. The new landlord may be willing to consider the extenuating circumstances surrounding the eviction. The Tenants Union is working to win stronger protections for tenants who are evicted illegally or who win in eviction court.

For more information, see Fair Tenant Screening Act. Some landlords may screen out tenants who have criminal records, assuming that they will not be trustworthy renters, regardless of the nature of the crime, the circumstances surrounding the conviction, and the amount of time that has passed since the criminal activity occurred. If you have a criminal record, you might want to be upfront about it in order to avoid paying screening costs for a unit where the landlord refuses to accept tenants with criminal records.


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If you can get a personal letter of reference from a community member, case manager or even a friend, bring that along. You can ask the landlord if they will rent to someone with a criminal record. We are committed to providing effortless, global background check services with the right technology and support for your success. Turn data into insight and insight into action, so you can get the full story about your employment background check screening program performance.

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The criteria by which we assessed these tenant screening services

To Offer Property Managers a Solution. Quick and easy background checks. Our agile, compliant solutions allow companies of all sizes to find qualified candidates.