Accurate Tenant Screening Credit Reports Background Checks Eviction Reports & Criminal History

Good tenant relations starts with your choice of tenants. It’s hard to evict tenants, even for non-payment of rent. It’s much easier not to rent to a problem tenant in the first place.

You should have each tenant fill out a rental application. A simple form is available from Accurate Credit Bureau. Be careful not to ask for irrelevant or unlawful information, such as race, religion, age (other than making sure the tenant is of age), or sex, which could give rise to a discrimination claim. Accurate Credit Bureau can do a credit check and a complete background check.

But beware. Landlords are sometimes hesitant to speak about a problem tenant. The current landlord may have a special incentive to give a glowing recommendation to a tenant he or she wants to get rid of. A more useful reference may be the landlord before the current one, who will have less reason to be untruthful. Ask specific questions. Did the tenant pay all rent due? On time? Did they keep the apartment clean?

Check sex offender registries. If you rent to a registered sex offender, you may be held liable for any injuries which the offender causes to other tenants or neighbors. The rules keep changing and Accurate Credit Bureau gives you access to criminal records, check them as well.

Despite all your efforts, no system is perfect, and some problem tenants may slip through the cracks. One answer is to rent to someone responsible who is known to you or your friends. Lowering the rent to get a responsible tenant can pay off by saving you unpaid rent, broker’s commissions, and legal fees not to mention aggravation. Once you find good tenants, keeping rent increases moderate will help you keep them. Remember this rule about investments: The higher the return, the higher the risk.

Students, especially undergraduates, are a particular problem. At best, they may be in their first apartment and not know how to take care of the place or how to be considerate of neighbors. They may simply not realize that their loud stereo at 3:00 AM disturbs other residents or neighbors. At worst, they may hold weekly keg parties and do extensive damage to your property. Many landlords have found that, in general, undergraduate students and working people simply do not mix in the same building. Police in communities that have large student populations are increasingly active in holding landlords responsible for tenants who disturb neighbors.

Accurate Credit Bureau is a tenant’screening service who provides different tenant screening packages to fit your needs. Background checks, evictions reports, criminal reports and tenant credit reports are available as well as other tenant screening reports. Accurate Credit Bureau also has eviction reports that check court indexes to see if a tenant has been involved in legal proceedings with a prior landlord.

One professional landlord we knew of advised trying to sign a new lease in the tenant’s kitchen. He felt, with some justification, that he could learn valuable information about new prospective tenants by seeing how they kept their kitchen. Seeing a prospective tenant’s current living quarters isn’t a bad idea.

A special problem arises when you buy a building with tenants already there. It’s usually best to try to meet the tenants before you sign an agreement. Then ask the seller for information about them and decide whether you want to buy a building with those tenants in it or find out whether they are moving soon. Any representations by the seller about tenants (or anything else, for that matter) should be written into the purchase and sale agreement. You have good reason to be suspicious about any representations that the seller doesn’t want to put in writing.

Ultimately, the decision on whom you should rent to is up to your own judgment. One landlord we knew had a blanket rule against students. But if he met the students and believed that they would be responsible tenants, he would make an exception. No rule is absolute. Keep your eye on the goal: to have tenants who will take care of your property, get along with their neighbors, and pay the rent on time.

A special word about real estate brokers: Some are competent. Some are honest. Some are both honest and competent. Unfortunately, some are neither. If you list a rental with a broker, make sure you meet with the tenant yourself. Not only do you want your own chance to approve the tenant, but you want to find out what the broker promised in your name. Some of the most intractable landlord-tenant disputes have to do with things the broker promised the tenants but never told the landlord! Others arise because the broker told the tenant that certain lease clauses, such as no pets or no smoking in the apartment, don’t really matter or mean what they say.

For more Landlord tips, help, and free rental applications and rental agreements see Accurate Credit Bureau. Important Decisions Demand Accurate Credit!

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