How to Conduct a Background Check on Potential Tenants

No matter what kind of real estate property you own, you want to choose tenants to occupy and maintain it. That’s why it is essential to do your due diligence and conduct a thorough background check. Every tenant has a history, and it’s up to you to find out if he or she is trustworthy enough to lease your property.

Fortunately, there are inexpensive and reliable but fairly easy ways to do a background check on potential tenants. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re screening potential tenants effectively.

What Is a Background Check?

A background check is an important step in the tenant screening process. It’s the practice of gathering vital information about an individual showing interest in renting your property. This process helps you to determine if the potential tenants meet your criteria, and if they’re trustworthy enough to occupy your space.

Why You Should Do Background Checks

You will likely come across applicants with qualified resumes. Unfortunately, because of the nature of real estate, their past mistakes may be hidden on purpose. Performing a background check and referencing potential tenants can help you weed out any potential risks or red flags.

It also helps protect your investment. Over the years, fraudulent information has been found on applications such as false identities, untruthful employment records and criminal charges. A thorough background check would help you avoid accepting such individuals in your property.

What You Should Look For

What you look for in a potential tenant depends on your individual goals and criteria. However, the focus should be on the tenant’s financial responsibility and credibility. When searching forApplicant Information such as employment, rental and credit records, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • Credit Score

  • Criminal History

  • Eviction Records

  • Rental History

  • Employment History

  • Bankruptcy

  • Military Status

  • Sex Offender Search

Easy Ways to Carry Out a Background Check

You might wonder, is it expensive to complete a background check on potential tenants? Surprisingly, it’s not. You don’t need to enroll in a business subscription service to conduct a background check. Here are some cost-effective ways to do so:

  • Social Media.
  • Yes, you can find basic background information about potential tenants through different social media channels. You will likely be exposed to his/her basic information, friends, activity, followers, and so on.
  • Verify ID.
  • Verify if the driver license number, phone number, address matches. You could also check work and rental history. However, it’s always recommended to have valid documents.
  • Credit Report.
  • Credit score is a powerful tool to check someone’s financial responsibility. Tenants that pay their bills promptly are in a higher category compared to those with an unfavorable credit score.
  • Background Check Agency.
  • If you prefer a more professional approach to tenant screening, you can use an online background check agency. This gives you access to an individual’s criminal history, employment history, and public records.

Finding the Right Resources for Your Background Check

The key to finding the right resources for background checks is being organized. Local, federal, and state laws will also apply regarding the amount of private information employers can obtain from potential tenants.

Don’t forget to ask for a permission waiver so you can find the right person for the job. Also, consider tenant screening companies to handle the entire process for you. There are many out there with varying packages and services offered.

Why You Should Consider a Tenant Background Check

No property owner can ignore or compromise on tenant screening. A tenant background check helps rule out any potential risks to avoid future problems. Hopefully, with the resources and tips outlined in this guide, you would know exactly “How to Conduct a Background Check on Potential Tenants”.

A tenant background check helps to verify the identity of potential tenants, review their financial status, and records any criminal convictions in their history. Furthermore, it also provides you with peace of mind knowing that you’re making a well-informed decision and future-proofing your investment.


Overall, tenant background checks are an invaluable tool when it comes to the leasing process. It not only uncovers any past transgressions but also provides assurance that the person occupying your rental property is credible and trustworthy. Making sure you adhere to tenancy leasing laws and regulations, you can confidently accept the right tenants in your property. In conclusion, not only is conducting a tenant background check a must for any landlord or property manager, it is also essential for tenant safety. A tenant background check ensures safety for both the landlord and tenant, helping to protect each from potential liabilities. To ensure peace of mind for both parties, conducting a tenant background check prior to signing any rental agreement is essential. By researching the proper resources and utilizing the tips outlined in this guide, you should feel confident in conducting a thorough background check and finding the right tenant for your property.

What information do you need to run a background check on a potential tenant?

In order to run a background check on a potential tenant, you will need to collect the following information:

1. Full legal name

2. Date of birth

3. Current address

4. Social Security number

5. Authorization to allow a background check

6. Email address

7. Driver’s license number

8. National insurance number

9. Credit and criminal history

10. Previous address(es)
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