Avoiding Woe: What to Look for in an Online Tenant Screening Report

Avoiding Woe

Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by Nasir Hanif

Over three million Americans are evicted every year, which highlights the importance of screening tenants. 

Conducting a background check on tenants gives you peace of mind, streamlines the process, and connects you with reliable people.

But you must know what areas to focus on, otherwise, you’ll waste time. Perhaps you’re currently in the tenant screening stage, but you’re not sure what to look out for. 

Sounds like you? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what to look for in the tenant screening report. 

Consider Their Credit Score 

In the first step of your SmartMove background check, consider each candidate’s credit report.

This will reveal their overall credit score, outstanding debts, and payment history. Using this information, you can tell whether the tenant is reliable with money so you don’t run into problems further down the line.  

Focus on Employment History

During the online tenant screening, focus on the candidate’s employment history.

Ask for verification as it reveals whether they can afford to pay the rent every month. For peace of mind, it’s wise to contact the employer directly for verification.  

Consider Their Income 

Aside from reading the credit score, you should search for proof of income in the tenant screening report. As a general rule, check the pay stubs or tax returns to ensure the candidate makes around three times the rent.

If the tenant can’t show you anything, ask for a copy of their savings in a bank or brokerage statement.   

Read Landlord References 

In the instant tenant screening results, look at the tenant’s landlord references. Check two past landlords and ask several questions to ensure the candidate paid rent on time and cared for the property.

If you don’t have time for this, then search for the best tenant screening services and they’ll do the hard work for you. 

Why They Left Previous Residence

Tenant screening services will also show you why the tenant left their previous residence. It’s often because they moved to a new neighborhood, their lease ended, or they wanted to find a bigger property.

But it may be because the tenant was evicted or had an altercation, which is a major red flag.

You should also factor in the tenant’s lifestyle to see if it aligns with your rental property. For instance, decide whether you’re happy with pets or accomodating smokers so you know who can stay on your property.

Plus, if your home has thin-walled and is surrounded by neighbors, you shouldn’t choose a professional musician as it could start a conflict.  

Familiarize Yourself With a Tenant Screening Report Today

Hopefully, after reading this article, you know what to look for in the tenant screening report. 

Landlords should check each tenant’s credit score, employment history, and proof of income. You should also ask to see at least two references and ask why they left as it could be because they’re not a good fit. Good luck with your search!

Found this article helpful? Great! Then check out the rest of our blog for more tips and tricks. 

Read more: Damage to an apartment at the end of the rental: how to proceed?