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Using Previous Landlords As References

As a landlord, you may be concerned about whether or not your tenant is going to pay you on time, or even at all. It’s just part of the anxiety-ridden duties of owning a rental property. After all, this is your prized investment. It’s only right to ensure that your tenants are trustworthy and financially dependable. A background check for tenants will only provide you with objective information like their credit history and current credit. What it won’t do is forecast whether or not that tenant is going to pay his or her rent on time.

Inquire, Inquire, Inquire

The most that you can go based off of in terms of financial reliability is their credit score and their word over yours. Essentially, you’re just making a reasonable guess. However, what you can do is make a relevant inquiry in regards to how the tenant paid his or her rent in the past. By verifying this information through the tenant’s references, you’ll find out how their previous financial relationship was with their past landlord. Unless, their previous landlord is their cousin or close friend, most of them will be relatively unbiased. This will build a sense of trust between you and your tenant, assuming he or she was timely with their payments.

Don’t Skip Out On Details For Landlord References

At times, many landlords will contact the applicant’s prior landlord and ask them general questions without requesting much detail. For instance, instead of asking the previous landlord whether or not the tenant paid the rent or followed the rules of the house, ask if that individual did indeed pay the rent on time and in full. The goal of contacting the previous landlord is to not only give you that peace of mind, but to also verify their responsible behaviors. Honestly speaking, any applicant that’s looking to rent will almost always tell you that they’ll pay their rent on time.

Use a Screening Service In Conjunction With References

When you’re performing a tenant screening background check, you’re getting objective information about the applicant. If everything looks in order, take the extra step to contact their references. Just because their credit is good, doesn’t mean they’re automatically an angel.

On the flip side, if you see that an applicant’s credit score suffered, instead of making assumptions, inquire more about why they couldn’t make their payments on time or what the reasons were for the low score. He or she may have been transitioning from one job to another and fell into financial hardship throughout the process. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be able to fulfill their obligations. Use your fair judgment.
Tenant Screening Services, LLC provides landlord credit checks, instant background checks, and other verification services. To find out more about their services, visit them online today.

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