How To Check Background For Property Managers

“How To Check Background For Property Managers” written by Mike Marko

Got some potential tenants for your rental property?

Having prospective tenants on your rental property is a sign that your business is on the right track. However, some of the prospective tenants could also slow down your business… and potentially cost you a LOT of money.  That is the reason why you need to check background reports of every applicant.

Checking the background of applicants is essential for your property business.  It’s your number one responsibility as a property manager.

In this article, I’ll be talked to you about how to check background report of a prospective tenant.

Property Manager’s Guide To Check Background Of Tenants

Have any ideas about how to check background on a prospective tenant?

A background check consists of information about a prospective tenant’s past employment verification, credit history, and criminal history. As a property manager, you can use these checks to evaluate a prospective tenant.  

Why Should You Check Background Of Prospective Tenants?

When you check the background of tenants, it means you are doing an investigation. This investigation into a tenant’s past history is mostly referred to as a background check.

The Process

The process of tenant screening is how a property manager can accumulate information about a potential tenant. When a tenant applies for a rental property they provide applications and other information that needs to be verified prior to allowing them to rent the property. In doing a complete tenant screening process you will gain details regarding your potential tenant’s criminal records, commercial records, and even his or her financial history.

If a potential tenant plans to lease your property for a long-term, it is a valid reason that you have the right to know and access necessary information about the applicant.

The Benefits

By acquiring the necessary background check reports of the prospective tenants, it will be useful in many ways.

  • By conducting a background check, it is possible that you will learn to trust an applying tenant because you are confident that they are capable of taking care of your property and paying their rental fees on time.
  • Checking the background gives you better insight into your potential tenant.  For instance, you may also learn how they will affect their neighbors and your property.
  • You may learn whether the tenant pays the rent on time or not.  Tools like a credit check help detail their past financial behavior in paying bills.
  • Learn about any criminal history.  If you find criminal convictions or possible criminal actions against the tenant when doing a background check you should be careful not to automatically discriminate or reject them. In some cases, the items will give you an idea of how it affects the applicant’s decision and current life. According to the law, if the charges made for the applicant did not result in a conviction, they are still eligible for renting a property.
  • Learn about their employment history.  References of past employers can also be found. These references can help you to identify your potential tenant’s status as an employee and verify salary and other work habits that could give you a better understanding of how they will act as your tenant.
  • A background check can also include questions of their lifestyle and other personal questions. This helps you know if you are welcoming someone who smokes/drinks, lives with a pet or pets, and if the tenant enjoys riding a bicycle.  LOL


Checking the background of your potential tenants is very beneficial for a property manager’s because of this narrow your choices down when determining the most qualified tenants to rent your properties.  

Step 1. Gather Information

The first step you need when conducting a background check of your potential tenants is to gather information about them. You won’t be able to run a background check if you don’t have details of who you will investigate. The following information is vital and needed to conduct a complete background check of the tenant.

  •      Personal information – This includes all relevant information about your potential tenant.

*      Name

*      Social Security number

*      Driver’s license

*      Bank account number (for credit checking)

*      Addresses and contact information of landlords (old and current)

*      Employer’s contact information (old and current employer)

*      Lifestyle (smoking, drinking, has a pet, owns a bicycle, etc.)

  •      Application form – This form has all the information you may need about your potential tenant and it’s called the rental application form. A potential tenant must fill this up completely and with honesty. You can check the accuracy of the personal information the tenant gave you prior to filling out the rental application at the beginning of your tenant screening process.
  •      Authorization letter – This authorization is for doing the credit check for your potential tenant. It only means that the potential tenant is giving you permission to run a credit check on that person. The authorization letter must be signed by the prospective tenant.

Step 2. Ask Assistance

Once you are done gathering information, the next step to check the background of your potential tenants is to ask for assistance. You may have plenty of staff to review and verify information but it is best to use reliable outside sources to verify credit, employment, criminal records, and other important items in the background check process.

  •        Hire a company – There are a lot of companies who specialize in running full background checks of a person. However, there is a cost depending on the thoroughness of the background check that you want. Most background checks start with verifying personal information, costs increase when you add credit checks, criminal background checks etc. When you find a company you want to use provide them the information that you have about your potential tenant. Most companies will provide you with a report detailing whatever you’re looking to verify in your background check for the tenant.  We recommend using Top1Score for inexpensive background checks.

Step 3. Do Your Thing

Do you know that you can also start doing your own background check?

When you have a prospective tenant that you are thinking to rent to you can start by calling your potential tenant’s references. Personal and employment references are normally people who know the tenant well and can give you a good idea of the personality and habits of the potential tenant.

When doing your own background check you’re limited in how far you can check the information. You or your staff can do a background check but you may still need assistance if you need credit reports and criminal background checks.   

There are numerous services available online to check the background of your potential tenants. I would suggest shopping around to find the best prices and the most complete company that does reliably up to date tenant screening services. If credit checks are part of the background check process then setting up an account with the 3-B (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) will help you get the most reliable and up to date credit check on the tenant.

Step 4. Accepting/Rejecting The Applicant

Once you are done with your background check and have received the proper reports from the companies doing the background checks it is best to schedule an interview with your potential tenant. This is to formalize everything between the two of you and to go over and review any inconsistencies or to finalize rental of the property with them.

If the potential tenant will be rejected, make sure that you will provide the details and the result of the background report.  That way the applicant will understand the reason behind the rejection of the rental application.

It is best to give a copy of the full background report because every applying tenant has the right to know the results of the background check.

Final Thoughts On Check Background For Property Managers

It is not that hard to understand why you need to check background of every applying tenant.  Not only does it help you get to know your potential tenant better but it also assures you that your property is in good hands.  Isn’t that what a property manager should be looking for?

Feel free to post your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.




Suggested Articles:
1. Understanding A Credit Rating Of Potential Tenants
2. The 5 Main Responsibilities Of Real Estate Management Companies
3. How To Start A Property Management Company

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Article: How To Check Background For Property Managers

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